Public Smoking Bans
• People who are exposed regularly to secondhand smoke are at higher risk for
developing cardiovascular and respiratory disease.
• Adults with pre-existing heart or lung disease, children, infants, and pregnant
women are particularly vulnerable to secondhand smoke.
• In the 20th century, a better understanding of the hazards posed by toxic substances
in tobacco led governments to ban smoking in public spaces to protect people from
the adverse effects of secondhand smoke.
• Researchers studying public smoking bans found many positive effects, including a
reduction in hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
• Smoking bans eventually altered public perception, making smoking unacceptable in
private as well as public spaces, encouraging many people to quit smoking, and
conveying a powerful message about the dangers of secondhand smoke.
• Over the past several decades, all Canadian provinces and territories have enacted
legislation to ensure that restaurants, bars, and workplaces are smoke-free.