Ohio's Smoking Rate Barely Changed 10 Years After Indoor Ban

Dec 5, 2016

Since Ohio voters approved an indoor smoking ban in 2006, experts can point to a host of resulting benefits - but a big drop in adult smoking isn't one of them.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio's adult smoking rate fell from about 23 percent to about 22 percent over the decade. The national rate is about 15 percent.

The American Lung Association contends fewer adults would smoke if Ohio raised tobacco taxes and spent more on cessation and prevention programs. Academics note demographics also play a role, with smoking more persistent in rural areas.

Other improvements have been tied to the 10-year-old ban, however. Research ties such bans to improved air quality, fewer emergency-room visits for asthma and reduced heart-attack rates.