California Behind on Workplace Smoking Laws

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows just how far California has fallen behind the rest of the country when it comes to cracking down on secondhand smoke in the workplace. When the state passed a law in 1994 banning smoking from enclosed areas of most workplaces, it was a groundbreaking idea. But in the past 10 years alone, 25 states and the District of Columbia have enacted total bans on indoor areas of private-sector workplaces, the CDC says in a report released Thursday. California built many exemptions into its law, allowing smoking in certain areas of hotel and motel lobbies; tobacco shops; warehouses; break rooms; and at businesses with five or fewer employees. The 1994 law gradually phased out smoking in bars and restaurants, but that last exemption allowed some bars to continue to let patrons smoke.

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