The Effect of Nonsmokers’ Rights
on the Tobacco Industry
The nonsmokers’ rights movement has a very simple goal—protecting nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke in enclosed public places and workplaces.
A by-product of the nonsmokers’ rights movement is the reduced social acceptability of smoking in public places and workplaces.50 51
Reduced social acceptability, in turn, has resulted in fewer people smoking.52 This is why the tobacco industry opposes clean indoor air policies.
According to the Roper Report, the tobacco industry is more worried about the evidence implicating secondhand smoke as a health hazard than it was about the first Surgeon General’s report on the health effects of smoking on smokers.53
50 US Department of Health and Human Services. Strategies to Control Tobacco Use in the United States: A Blueprint for Public Health Action in the 1990’s. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 1. US DHHS, PHS, NIH, NCI, 1991. NIH Publication No. 92-3316.
51 US Department of Health and Human Services. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. US DHHS, PHS, CDC, CCDPHP, OSH, 1989. DHHS Publication No. (CDC) 89-8411.
53 Roper Organization. A Study of Public Attitudes Toward Cigarette Smoking and the Tobacco Industry in 1978, Volume 1. The Roper Organization, Inc. May 1978.