The Effect Of Smoke-Free Air Laws On Various Short And Long Run Mortality Outcomes
thesisposted on 2019-12-01, 00:00 authored by Megan Conover Diaz
This dissertation emphasizes the importance of implementing comprehensive smoke-free air laws (SFAs) that aim to protect 100% of the U.S. population. I define a comprehensive smoke-free air law as a law that specifically bans smoking in restaurants, bars, private and public workplaces. A ban that prohibits smoking in restaurants and not bars is not considered comprehensive; in the same manner, a ban that provides separately ventilated areas is also not considered comprehensive. Previous studies have shown that comprehensive smoke-free air laws have had a significant effect on reducing mortality due to acute myocardial infarction and strokes. This study confirms these earlier findings and shows that comprehensive SFAs has decreased mortality rates due to chronic lower respiratory disease, lung cancer, and cirrhosis. This study is the first to examine mortality outcomes at the U.S. county and state level over the past 24 years. Reductions in these six underlying causes of death range from 0.9 to 13.6 percent. These results provide further evidence to support the implementation and legislation of comprehensive SFAs to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.