Good air quality is important for quality of life and is also directly related to cardiovascular, respiratory disease and cancers. Laws to protect healthy indoor air can help improve the air people breathe. While smoking is not the only contributor to air quality, it has been proven to be dangerous to workers, patrons, or anyone exposed to secondhand smoke on a regular basis.
As of August 2020, 17 states have smoke-free air laws that cover workplaces, restaurants, bars, and gambling establishments. This represents no change from the prior reporting in 2019. As the number of states with comprehensive smoke-free air laws increases, more states would have a key policy in place to support cleaner, healthier air for all.
SOURCE: Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, 2020
NUMBER OF VENUES COVERED BY AIR QUALITY LAWS COUNTED BY STATE
STATES WITH SMOKE-FREE AIR LAWS ACROSS ALL VENUES, IN 2020
Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
Climate change is connected to changes in weather patterns, agriculture and food systems, and has a significant impact on health, including respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health. Climate Action Plans (CAPs) outline a set of strategies within specific environmental policy proposals and programmatic initiatives, indicating that state agencies are working together to improve health. By establishing standards for air quality, targets for emissions, or requirements for housing development, CAPs indicate that states are engaging in cross-sector collaborations that benefit health.
As of 2020, according to an inventory by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 33 states and the District of Columbia have a Climate Action Plan in place (total, 34). This represents a reduction from 35 plans from the last update in 2018, with notably Alaska rescinding its plan in 2019. An increase in the number of states adopting CAPs would indicate that states are not only engaging multiple sectors, but also prioritizing their own climate issues and public health. With greater appreciation of the role of climate in disasters such as the wildfires and hurricanes that have ravaged 2020, climate plans are increasingly critical.
SOURCE: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 2020
States With Climate Change Action Plans, in 2020