Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




James Zinser
Barbara Craig


Smoking, Legislation, Clean indoor air laws, Smokers, Anti-smoking legislation, Cigarette sales, United States


This paper evaluates the effects of anti-smoking legislation on cigarette sales across the fifty states for the years 1975 through 1990. The relevance of this issue can be entertained from several perspectives as it pertains to both smokers and non-smokers contrasting the right to smoke with the right to breathe clean air. Anti-smoking legislation was initiated from early on in our country's legal history, not as a method of protecting non-smokers from the externalities imposed upon them by smokers with respect to their right to clean air, but rather in light of smoking's inherent fire hazards. The most significant development in the campaign of anti-smokers to promote the right to clean air came with the publishing of the 1964 Surgeon General's Report which reviewed more than 11,000 studies and concluded that cigarette smoking was causally related to lung cancer. The impact of this report which was released on January 11, led to 2% decline in total cigarette consumption for that year. It was not until the release of the 1986 Surgeon General's Report that the hazardous effects of cigarette smoke on non-smokers was affirmed. It asserted that not only did involuntary smoking cause disease in healthy nonsmokers, but also that the mere separation of smokers from non-smokers within the same workspace was not sufficient to eliminate the risk to which they were exposed. These findings have ultimately led to a significant increase in the enactment of Clean Indoor Air Laws, and a growing intolerance of smokers everywhere.

Included in

Economics Commons