Top 10 US Cities Where Smoking is Banned
By Ashley Posted March 1, 2013
The list of places that you’re legally permitted to smoke is dropping at a surprising rate. As of the beginning of January 2013, 81.3% of the US population lives under the jurisdiction of a complete smoking ban in non-hospitality workplaces, restaurants, bars or all three. Almost half of the population lives under a complete ban in all of these places, with 60% of the 50 biggest cities in the country having comprehensive anti-smoking laws. If you’re thinking about switching to vaping, your life will be dramatically more comfortable if you ever visit…
10: Denver, Colorado
The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act came into force across the state in 2006, which banned smoking in all restaurants and bars in the state, as well as in any workplace with more than three employees that isn’t a cigar bar. In the Mile High city, smoking indoors is pretty much completely off the cards.
9: Seattle, Washington
Initiative 901 passed in Washington in 2005, meaning that smoking was banned inside all workplaces, restaurants and bars, as well as within 25 feet of a door, window or vent. Unless you have a tape measure on-hand, staying on the right side of the law is going to be pretty difficult. You aren’t breaking the law if you’re just passing by a door, window or vent, but if you’re stood still you have to be very careful about your positioning.
8: Boston, Massachusetts
In 2004, the entire state of Massachusetts enacted a smoking ban in all workplaces, bars and restaurants. This didn’t change too much in Boston, however, since there was already a workplace ban there before the state-wide law. The only exceptions to this rule are specialized smoking bars, which have to take more than half of their income from the sale of tobacco products.
7: Baltimore, Maryland
Comprehensive anti-smoking laws were brought in throughout Maryland in 2008, but they existed in bars and restaurants in Baltimore since 2007. These local laws had covered 50 percent of the state’s residents before the state-wide ban, and Baltimore was arguably an important tipping-point.
6: Detroit, Michigan
Smoking was banned in Michigan in 2010, thanks to the smoke-free air law. This imposes a more comprehensive set of restrictions on Detroit, where the local laws only protected workplaces, previously allowing smoking in bars and restaurants.
5: Columbus, Ohio
The 2007 law passed across Ohio prevents smoking in public places or places of employment, enclosed areas and near the entrances, windows and vents of smoke-free buildings. In Columbus, further changes in 2012 have prevented any exceptions to the state-wide law.
4: Indianapolis, Indiana
Although the state-wide law only covers workplaces and restaurants, in 2012 Indianapolis enacted stronger legislation which prevents smoking in all bars as well. There are some exceptions, such as cigar bars or private clubs, but smoking is pretty much outlawed across the city.
3: Houston, Texas
With no Texas-wide state law in place, in 2007 Houston put a stringent set of regulations into place. As well as not allowing smoking in any enclosed public space – including bars, restaurants, buses, and any enclosed workspace. This is another place where smokers are left trying to position themselves at least 25 feet away from any window, door or vent leading to a building.
2: Chicago, Illinois
In 2006, Chicago started instituting their smoking ban, which covers virtually all public places. Initially, restaurants and bars were exempt until 2008, but the state-wide laws came in and smokers across the country had to leave the warmth to get their nicotine fix.
1: New York City, New York
New York is the most populated city in the country in which there is a comprehensive smoking ban. The 2003 measure banned smoking in bars and restaurants, and it is also banned in all workplaces. In the Big Apple, smoking is also banned in parks, on beaches and in pedestrian plazas.
The only way to travel to some of the biggest cities in the United States without being subject to a barrage of anti-smoking laws is to switch the smoke for vapor. E-cigarettes don’t cause combustion or produce smoke, so any laws against smoking don’t apply. They give you the freedom to enjoy nicotine in public places, workplaces, restaurants and bars.