Tomorrow, July 1, marks the 10-year anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act, a comprehensive smokefree law that protects Kansas residents from secondhand smoke and improves community health.
“It’s a significant accomplishment to be 10 years smokefree here in Kansas. Many states, including our neighbors Missouri and Oklahoma, don’t have comprehensive smokefree laws, so many of their workers and citizens continue to be exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke every day,” said Sara Prem, advocacy specialist for the Lung Association. “However, there is more work that must be done to improve community health here in Kansas. We encourage lawmakers to include e-cigarettes in the law and raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21 to align with the federal law.”
The Clean Indoor Air Act, which went into effect on July 1, 2010, prohibits smoking in most indoor locations in Kansas, including places of employment, restaurants, bars, taxicabs and limousines, lobbies, hallways and other common areas in apartment buildings and other multiple-residential facilities, restrooms, lobbies and other common areas in hotels and motels, and within 10 feet of any doorway, open window and air intake of establishments where smoking is prohibited.
“This law is especially important with the COVID-19 pandemic because according to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who smoke are at a 2.4 times higher risk for severe complications than non-smokers. Any condition that potentially effects the lungs such as smoking or vaping, regardless of the ingredients inhaled, could play a role in making someone more susceptible to complications from the disease,” said Prem.
Secondhand smoke has 7,000 chemicals, including 70 that cause cancer. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes an estimated 41,000 deaths from lung cancer and heart disease among adults each year in the United States. Secondhand smoke exposure in nonsmokers increases the risk of stroke 20 percent to 30 percent. Secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes can be harmful as well. In 2016, the Surgeon General concluded that secondhand emissions contain, "nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.