In the days just before a statewide smoking ban takes effect in Colorado, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona says such drastic actions are the only effective way to protect nonsmokers from the adverse health effects of second-hand smoke.
Carmona spoke Tuesday on the release of a long-awaited report, which says an estimated 126 million nonsmokers are exposed to such smoke putting them at a higher risk of death from lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
The report also says there's good evidence that comprehensive bans like those in New York City and Boston don't hurt businesses. Some Colorado bar and restaurant owners have claimed the ban will force them out of business, but a similar ban in New York has had the opposite effect.