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Annu Rev Public Health. 2008;29:171-85. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.29.020907.090920.

The diffusion and impact of clean indoor air laws.

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  • 1Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA.


Over the past quarter century, primarily as a result of scientific discovery, citizen advocacy, and legislative action, comprehensive clean indoor air laws have spread rapidly throughout the world. Laws that establish completely smoke-free indoor environments have many relative advantages including being low cost, safe, effective, and easy to implement. The diffusion of these laws has been associated with a dramatic and rapid reduction in population levels of serum cotinine among nonsmokers and has also contributed to a reduction in overall cigarette consumption among smokers, with no adverse economic impact, except to the tobacco industry. Currently, nearly half of the U.S. population lives in jurisdictions with some combination of completely smoke-free workplaces, restaurants, or bars. The diffusion of clean indoor air laws is spreading rapidly throughout the world, stimulated by the first global health treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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