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Smoke Free Air Laws Can Fight Lung Cancer

Researchers from the University of Kentucky looked at lung cancer data from communities with strong, moderate, and weak smoke-free air laws and found that communities with strong laws had 8% fewer lung cancer rates than those without. Surprisingly, moderate laws did not protect any more people than weak laws. Strong laws prohibit smoking in all workplaces including bars and restaurants. Boone County is covered under Indiana’s smoke free air law, which prohibits smoking in restaurants and most workplaces. Zionsville is the one community in Boone County that has a strong smoke free air ordinance that prohibits smoking in restaurants, bars, and workplaces. If moderate and weak laws don’t cover as many spaces, more people are left unprotected. How would this affect the roughly 36 Boone County residents that are diagnosed with lung cancer every year?

Indianapolis saw a strong decrease in heart attacks after implementing a smoke free air law in 2012. We saw a 26% and 28% drop in heart attacks among smokers and former smokers (respectively) after Indy’s Breathe Easy law passed. If Indianapolis could achieve this with a moderate law, imagine what Boone County could achieve with a strong law!

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