December 21, 2014

Smoking ban reduces second hand exposure

A new study shows the statewide smoking ban is reducing how much second-hand smoke Wisconsinites are being exposed to. The report in the Wisconsin Medical Journal shows the percentage of people encountering second-hand smoke outside of the home has dropped to 32 percent, down from 55 percent before Wisconsin’s smoking ban took effect two years ago.

Dona Wininsky with the American Lung Association of Wisconsin says the trends are heading in the right direction and show the smoking ban is making even those who work in smoke-filled environments realize it’s better to take it outside.

The report also found a growing number of people are banning smoking at home. Just 10 years ago, Wininsky says nearly half the population allowed smoking in their residence. Now, all but about 20 percent of private residences in the state say they are smoke free indoors. Wininsky says that’s great news for the health of family members who don’t smoke, especially young children.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:08)