Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Smoking Cessation Health Center

Font Size

Smoking Bans Are on the Rise in Big Cities

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 15, 2012 -- The CDC says 30 of the 50 biggest U.S. cities are smoke-free, with absolutely no smoking allowed in any bar, restaurant, or workplace.

And the news is even better than it looks.

Several more of these big cities at least partially ban smoking. Los Angeles and Atlanta, for example, are covered by state laws that ban much smoking but fall short of the CDC's 100% smoke-free designation.

Overall, about half of Americans are getting less secondhand smoke exposure because of state or local bans on indoor smoking.

The Fight Against Secondhand Smoke

"Communities have made tremendous progress eliminating smoking from work sites and public places," CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, says in a news release.

Even so, the CDC says, some 3,400 nonsmokers die each year from lung cancer and 46,000 die from heart disease caused by secondhand smoke.

"If we can protect workers and the public in the remaining 20 largest cities, 16 million people would be better protected from cancer and heart disease caused by secondhand smoke," Frieden says.

Ten of the 20 large U.S. cities that aren't covered by comprehensive smoking laws are in the South. And 10 of them are in states with laws that prevent local governments from passing anti-smoking restrictions.

On the positive side, 26 states and the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws.

This marks a lot of progress. Just 12 years ago, only one large U.S. city -- San Jose, Calif. -- was covered by such a law.

The CDC's report on smoke-free laws appears in the Nov. 16 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Today on WebMD

hands breaking a cigarette
Is quitting cold turkey an effective method?
14 tips to get you through the first hard days.
smoking man
Surprising impacts of tobacco on the body.
cigarette smoke
What happens when you kick the habit?

Filtered cigarettes
an array of e cigarettes
human heart
Woman experiencing withdrawal symptoms

man smoking cigarette
no smoking sign
Woman ashing cigarette in ashtray
chain watch