Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) is pleased to announce the winners of the annual ANR Smokefree Indoor Air Challenge Award, which recognizes the states that achieve the greatest number of strong local smokefree laws each year – either by passing new ordinances or strengthening existing laws. The 2011 winners are based on the analysis of all new laws enacted during 2011 that meet the ANR Foundation’s criteria for 100% smokefree bars, restaurants, and non-hospitality workplaces. Congratulations to all the winners!
First Place (Tie): Alabama and California
It’s not often that Alabama and California are mentioned together as smokefree leaders, but now they are. Both states will be receiving the famous ANR crystal award for their significant accomplishment in leading the U.S. local smokefree movement in 2011.
Alabama led the nation in having enacted the greatest number of strong, new smokefree laws in 2011. This is a landmark achievement for public health in the state. This progress is thanks to the hard work of many advocates, champions, and networks. This is Alabama’s first time winning the First Place Award.
California has returned to the top of the award list. While the state legislature has failed to strengthen its historic smokefree workplace law to address problematic exemptions, California cities continue to take action to ensure everyone’s right to a smokefree workplace.
Second Place (Tie): Mississippi and Missouri
Mississippi took first place last year, and Missouri is repeating as Second Place Winner. This shows that these states have created consistent momentum for strong local smokefree laws with infrastructure to help support it.
Third Place (Tie): Kentucky and Indiana
In addition to statewide smokefree campaigns, both of these states achieved a significant number of strong local smokefree laws in 2011. Congratulations to all the organizations in both states that helped achieve this progress. Indiana recently enacted a partial statewide law that will cover non-hospitality workplaces and restaurants.
There are now at least 507 cities and counties with strong local laws to ensure smokefree air in at least non-hospitality workplaces, restaurants, and bars. Ten years ago, there were less than 50. Thanks in large part to the success of local smokefree laws, many states now have strong smokefree laws as well. Check out a chart showing the dramatic increase in strong local smokefree ordinances over the years: http://no-smoke.org/pdf/current_smokefree_ordinances_by_year.pdf