What are the benefits of clean indoor air?
Clean indoor air is good for health and good for business. Local smoke-free workplace ordinances not only improve health, they promote economic growth and reduce healthcare costs. Local smoke-free laws are widely recognized by business leaders nationwide as a great way to have a healthier, more competitive workforce and a higher quality of life in a community.
It’s no surprise that in recent years a groundswell of support for smoke-free indoor workplace laws has developed across the country. Nearly 500 cities across America – including over 30 cities in Texas – have adopted local ordinances requiring 100% smoke-free workplaces. As of January 2012, about two-thirds of the U.S. population, or nearly 200 million people, live in areas that have passed strong smoke-free laws covering all restaurants and bars.
Regarding convention and tourism business, travelers are coming to expect smokefree hospitality venues as the norm. Over 20 national organizations (including CDC, the National Cancer Institute and the American Medical Association) have adopted policies to only hold meetings and conventions in cities with 100% smoke-free workplaces.
Cities in Oklahoma are competing with cities in other states for new businesses and jobs. When it comes to the workplace, it's clear that improving the physical health of workers results in better fiscal health for their employers. A growing number of Oklahoma communities and local Chambers of Commerce view increased economic development by the creation of a healthier workforce as a vital component to their survival and continued competitive growth.
In Oklahoma, losses caused by productive work lives shortened by smoking-caused death are estimated at $1.73 billion annually. On a per capita basis, these productivity losses are higher for Oklahoma than for all but one of our neighboring states. Smokers, on average, miss over 50% more days of work per year due to sickness, compared to nonsmokers. Oklahomans pay $1.16 billion annually in health care costs for smoking-caused illnesses – including an average of $548 in state and federal taxes for every Oklahoma household.