In the first report to document the extent of secondhand aerosol (SHA) exposure among the nation’s youth, the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health points to North Dakota as one of very few states to include e-cigarettes in statewide smoke-free laws. The article, published in the March 20th edition of JAMA Pediatrics, shows a growing need for protection against SHA.
CDC credits North Dakota for protecting youth against secondhand aerosol exposure
About one in four of the middle school and high school students who responded to the study, including nearly 4.5 million students who don’t use e-cigarettes, reported being exposed to secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes in an indoor or outdoor place. The study stresses the importance of comprehensive tobacco prevention strategies, which also address the rising popularity of e-cigarettes.
“BreatheND understood early on that e-cigarettes should be included in smoke-free policies,” executive director Jeanne Prom said. “So, when North Dakotans were voting to make public places and work places smoke-free, this agency helped educate the public on the many harms of secondhand smoke, including those from e-cigarettes.”
North Dakota’s progressive Smoke-Free Law was passed in 2012 by a majority of voters in every county, making North Dakota the third state in the nation to protect people from SHA exposure. The law protects residents, workers and visitors from secondhand smoke of traditional tobacco products and e-cigarettes in all workplaces, enclosed public places and within 20 feet of entrances, exits, operable windows and air ventilation systems.
Two states preceded North Dakota’s efforts to protect people from electronic cigarette aerosols – Utah and New Jersey. Today, seven more states joined aerosol free air efforts to further protect people’s health: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon and Vermont have also adopted comprehensive smoke-free laws that include e-cigarettes.