Utah Clean Air Act is 20 years old

FILE PHOTO: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert holds a paint can during a visit to a Salt Lake City house near the Utah Capitol Thursday, May 2, 2013, to offer tips on yard equipment, fuel containers and paint choices, while declaring May "Clean Air Month." His suggestions come a day after the Utah Air Quality Board was sweating over a set of incomplete plans to avoid federal Clean Air Act sanctions. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Utah Indoor Clean Air Act (UICCA) has provided the state with 20 years of smoke free movie theaters and restaurants, going into effect in January of 1995.

“We talk to younger people who didn’t realize that at one time you could smoke in a restaurant,” said Emily Jewkes, Health Educator for the Bear River Health Department. “This law prohibits the possession of any lighted tobacco products including electronic nicotine devices, or e-cigarettes, in enclosed places of public access.”

“It has protected a while generation from second hand smoke by eliminating the smoking section.”

It was enacted in an effort to reduce the exposure to second

hand smoke, one of the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S.

Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer and coronary heart disease in non-smoking adults and an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, and pneumonia in young children.

Despite recent declines in smoking and significantly lower smoking rates compared to the national average, tobacco use remains a serious public health concern in Utah.

Approximately 190,000 adults and more than 14,000 middle and high school students are current smokers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 1,150 Utahns die each year from tobacco-related causes.

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