Fearing reduced sales, the industry created a media and legislative programme that focused upon "accommodation".Tolerance and courtesy were encouraged as a way to ease heightened tensions between smokers and those around them, while avoiding smoking bans. state of Minnesota enacted the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, making it the first state to restrict smoking in most public spaces.Non-smokers exposed to cigarette smoke in the workplace have an increased lung cancer risk of 16–19%.
Along with tax measures, cessation measures, and education, smoking bans are viewed by public health experts as an important element in reducing smoking rates and promoting positive health outcomes.
When effectively implemented they are seen as an important element of policy to support behaviour change in favour of a healthy lifestyle.
In 2009, a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that there is sufficient evidence (the highest level of evidence under the report’s rating scale) that implementation of smokefree legislation decreases respiratory symptoms in workers.
An 8% reduction in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction in 2004, the year after the state smokefree law took effect, accounting for 3,813 fewer admission and $56 million in savings on hospital costs Reductions in monthly hospital admissions for heart attacks, angina, stroke, and asthma in counties with no municipal or county smokefree laws predating the state law compared with counties with such laws.
Legislation may also define smoking as more generally being the carrying or possessing of any lit tobacco product.
Laws implementing bans on indoor smoking have been introduced by many countries in various forms over the years, with some legislators citing scientific evidence that shows tobacco smoking is harmful to the smokers themselves and to those inhaling second-hand smoke.
RSP levels were reduced in every venue that permitted smoking before the law was implemented, including venues in which only second-hand smoke from an adjacent room was observed at baseline.
The CDC concluded that their results were similar to other studies which also showed substantially improved indoor air quality after smoking bans were instituted.
Additional rationales for smoking restrictions include reduced risk of fire in areas with explosive hazards; cleanliness in places where food, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, or precision instruments and machinery are produced; decreased legal liability; potentially reduced energy use via decreased ventilation needs; reduced quantities of litter; healthier environments; and giving smokers incentive to quit.
The World Health Organization considers smoking bans to have an influence to reduce demand for tobacco by creating an environment where smoking becomes increasingly more difficult and to help shift social norms away from the acceptance of smoking in everyday life.