Impact of Tobacco in Wyoming

2017 Annual Summary

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

Wyoming adults generally recognize the overall risk of breathing secondhand smoke; 97% think breathing secondhand smoke is very (63%) or somewhat (34%) harmful to one’s health (WYSAC, 2017a). Smokefree indoor air policies and laws have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing youth initiation, reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, and increasing cessation of tobacco use (Guide to Community Preventive Services, 2015).

Smokefree Indoor Air Laws: Wyoming and the Nation

Wyoming does not have a statewide smokefree indoor air law. However, every one of the six states bordering Wyoming has some sort of statewide smokefree indoor air law (Figure 8). Five of the six bordering states have a comprehensive smokefree indoor air law that covers private workplaces, restaurants, and bars. Idaho’s law covers restaurants (CDC, 2016).

In the absence of a statewide smokefree indoor air law, Wyoming municipalities have enacted local laws (Figure 9). Laramie enacted Wyoming’s first smokefree indoor air law in 2005. Since then, nine other municipalities have enacted smokefree indoor air laws. In total, these 10 laws cover 35% of the state’s population (based on estimates from U.S. Census Bureau, ca. 2014). Currently, six cities in Wyoming have comprehensive smokefree indoor air laws that include indoor workplaces, indoor areas of restaurants, and indoor areas of bars. These comprehensive laws cover 29% of Wyoming residents. A law in Lyman includes a clause that allows business owners to opt out by prominently displaying signs identifying the business as a smoking establishment (Lyman Municipal Code, 2011). Because WYSAC does not have data about the decisions of all individual business owners in Lyman, WYSAC does not include Lyman residents as covered by a smokefree indoor air law.

Smokefree Policies

Voluntary smokefree policies in restaurants, bars, and other businesses also provide some protection from secondhand smoke (Guide to Community Preventive Services, 2015). In 2016, about half (51%) of Wyoming dining businesses (including bars) had a written policy about smoking or vaping. Written policies prohibiting smoking and vaping for all indoor areas (labeled Clean Air in Table 2) were most common among fast food restaurants. Full service restaurants were more likely to have clean air policies than full service restaurants with attached bars. Bars, taverns, and saloons (as a single category) were the least likely business type to have clean air policies (Table 2; WYSAC, 2017b).

In 2016, the prevalence of clean air policies differed across lodging business type. Indoor clean air policies were most common in multi-use businesses (e.g., a business that is both a motel and campground). Motels were the least likely to have smokefree and vape-free policies (WYSAC, 2017b; Table 3).

Support for smokefree policies in indoor workplaces has steadily increased from 71% in 2002 to 82% in 2015. Support for smokefree policies in restaurants has also steadily increased from 57% in 2002 to 76% in 2015. More Wyoming adults stated that smoking should never be allowed in casinos, clubs or bars in 2015 than in 2013, but support for smokefree bars was lower than for other venues (Figure 10; WYSAC, 2017a). Recent national data are not available for comparison.

In 2015, most Wyoming adults reported they would support individual laws making indoor workplaces, indoor areas of restaurants, or indoor areas of casinos and clubs smokefree. Almost half of Wyoming adults would support a law making bars smokefree (Figure 11; WYSAC, 2017a). In 2014, 71% of Wyoming’s registered voters said they would support a comprehensive statewide smokefree indoor air law applying to all these venues (WYSAC, 2015).

Most Wyoming adults who work primarily indoors are covered by policies prohibiting smoking in the indoor areas of their workplaces. However, these policies do not completely protect Wyoming workers from secondhand smoke because 22% reported breathing secondhand smoke at work in the past week (Table 4; WYSAC, 2017a).

Between 2002 and 2015, the percentage of Wyoming adults who did not allow smoking inside their homes increased from 72% to 87% (WYSAC, 2017a).

According to the Wyoming 2016 School Health Profiles Report: Trend Analysis Report (2017), schools qualify as tobacco-free when there is a policy that specifically prohibits the use of all types of tobacco (including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, and pipes, but not necessarily ENDS) by all people (all students, faculty/staff, and visitors) at all times (including during non-school hours) and in all places (including school-sponsored events held off campus). In 2016, 40% of Wyoming schools had tobacco-free policies, a statistically significant decrease from 50% in 2014.

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