Public Smoking Bans In America

Ban smoking
Most Americans won’t stop you if you smoke – only if you don’t do it around them.

Gallup has recently released a poll showing 59 percent of Americans in support of a smoking ban in every public area. This poll is remarkable in that it marks the first time most Americans preferred a public smoking ban since Gallup first surveyed them about it. Thirty-nine percent of Americans supported a ban in the 2001 poll.

Twenty-seven states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have laws providing for a ban on smoking in public. New York City alone has a smoking ban in effect across every public space; plans are underway to extend the ban to private apartments.

For one, the board of Ariel West, a 68-key condominium in the city, had decided to ban smoking therein. Offenders are fined as much as $150.

However, more than 8 out of 10 respondents in the Gallup poll do not support the illegalization of smoking. Americans still repel the idea of prohibiting smoking in the privacy of one’s house.

Only nineteen percent of the respondents favored smoking’s illegalization. When Gallup first surveyed Americans regarding this in 1990, 14 percent were in favor: a middling difference.

For certain, the zeitgeist is showing a massive shift in attitudes toward proper places for smoking. Conversely, there is little change in the number of people who have smoked a cigarette. In the same poll, 22 percent of Americans were shown to have lit a fag in the past week, compared to 25 percent from 1989 to 2007.

Gallup archives showed that smoking percentage in the country last peaked in 1954 at 45 percent.

Anyway, here is a list of states where smoking bans are in effect statewide:

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Smoking ban is in effect all over the state’s public places, e.g. bars, restaurants and workplaces. Certain patios outdoors are set aside for smoking. But no one should smoke outside within 20 feet of windows, doors, and air vents.


Smoking ban statewide except for restaurants and bars exclusive to patrons ages 21 and above. Areas are designated for smokers provided secondhand smoke does not waft from there.


Statewide smoking ban in effect for enclosed public spaces, except for 65 percent of hotel and motel units and warehouse facilities. Film and television locations are also exempted from the ban provided the smoking is indispensable to the plot.


Statewide smoking ban in effect for the majority of enclosed spaces, such as casinos, restaurants and bars. One may only smoke at least 5 feet away from entrances.


Smoking ban for most of the state’s public areas, including dormitories at all higher education institutions. Companies employing no more than five employees are exempted from the ban but owners should reserve spaces for non-smokers.


There is a smoking ban all over the state’s enclosed public areas, with the quirky exception of fundraising events by volunteer ambulance or fire organizations.

District of Columbia

Smoking is banned from all of the district’s enclosed public places.


Smoking in public is banned all over the state’s enclosed workplaces. However, establishments that derive at most 10 percent of its revenue from selling food are exempted.


Statewide smoking ban in all enclosed or partially enclosed public spaces. There is also a 20-foot clearance from smoking around doorways, windows, vents, etc.


Statewide smoking ban in public spaces.  Exempted are home offices other than childcare facilities and bars, among others.

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Ban on smoking in effect in public areas such as restaurants and bars. Smoking is prohibited at least 15 feet from exits, entrances, windows, and air vents.


Most enclosed public places, e.g. outdoor sports arenas and public transit platforms, ban smoking.


Statewide smoking ban. Applies to all public areas such as condos, bars, and so forth


Most public places ban smoking ban. It does not apply to, among others, bars; most convention facilities; and 50 percent of rooms in a hotel or motel.


Smoking ban in effect all over the state’s enclosed public spaces. Smoking outdoors is also limited to an extent. It is banned within 20 feet of a playground, sea, state park, etc.


Smoking is banned in most enclosed spaces for the public. Laboratories reserved for studies on smoking are the only exception.


Most enclosed public places fall under a smoking ban.


Statewide smoking ban for majority of public places.


Smoking is forbidden in enclosed public areas and public transportation. Native Americans and those inside nursing homes or veterans’ rest camps are exempted from the ban.


All enclosed public areas, including bars and restaurants, must follow the statewide smoking ban.


Statewide smoking ban in every enclosed public area. However, the ban is not in effect in cigar bars.


Although state law bans smoking in enclosed public places, it exempts bars, adults-only areas in casinos, brothels, and strip clubs.

New Hampshire

It is lawful for select kinds of workplaces to set aside smoking areas. Otherwise, smoking in enclosed public spaces is banned statewide.

New Jersey

Statewide smoking ban in effect mainly for enclosed public areas.

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New Mexico

Smoking ban in effect statewide for a good number of enclosed public spaces. It does not apply to gaming facilities with state license.

New York

Councilors of its namesake city recently voted for an expansion of the statewide smoking ban to include parks, plazas, and beaches. Otherwise, the ban is only limited to enclosed public spaces, except for some outdoor dining areas.

North Carolina

Statewide smoking ban in mostly enclosed public areas.

North Dakota

Standalone bars or separately enclosed bar sections in hotels, restaurants and bowling alleys are exempted from the statewide public smoking ban.


Most enclosed public spaces should follow the statewide smoking ban.


Statewide smoking ban in effect for most enclosed public areas like bars and restaurants.


There is a statewide public smoking ban for the most part. Bars and other drinking establishments are exempted.

Rhode Island

One may smoke in designated areas in casinos, where there are ventilation systems. There is a statewide ban on smoking in most public places.

South Dakota

Smoking is banned across the state in enclosed public places mostly.


Statewide smoking ban in enclosed public areas, except for adults-only restaurants


Smoking ban all over the state on most enclosed public spaces


Smoking prohibited in mostly enclosed public spaces


Smoking mostly prohibited in enclosed public spaces but permitted in separately enclosed/well-ventilated areas of bars and restaurants


Smoking ban on most of the state’s enclosed public spaces, such as tribal casinos. However, a 25-foot clearance around thresholds and ventilation intakes holds.


Smoking is outlawed in enclosed public areas, for the most part.


By Healthy Lifestyle Blogzine

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8 Responses

  1. jaredcru says:

    I got nothing against smokers but it does a bad effect on non-smokers if they smoke in public. My boss hates people who smokes and always tell my colleagues to think of the people around before lighting up a cigarette. Smoking ban will help a lot.

  2. jonasb says:

    This kind of smoking ban should be implemented. We can save more life with this kind of warning. We should learn not to smoke in public and not harm anybody on second hand smoke.

  3. jonasb says:

    I’m just waiting for other countries to implement such smoking ban on buildings and other public places. Its true that smoking can kill and harm others, especially the secondhand smoke. Others are not aware of that danger but with this kind of ban, they will be informed well.

  4. yushi1905 says:

    If they still want to sell cigarettes publicly, why do they want to ban it? You got to solve the problem from its root and not from the leaves of the flowers.

  5. pasta says:

    I guess the reason why they don’t ban it totally because the person who made the law is smoking as well. Nobody can stop the addiction once they are addicted.

  6. jessicasethman says:

    The main reason why they don’t ban cigarettes all together is because the income and the taxes from the sales are too profitable.

  7. Haven House says:

    Actually Government should ban the cigarettes smoking..I agree with government is generating revenue from these products but life of people is more precious than taxes ….

  8. We all are aware how injurious it is to smoke, and smoking in public place also affects non-smokers (Passive Smoking). I’m glad that the government implemented such ban. Cheers.

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