The United States Surgeon General has determined that involuntary inhalation of tobacco smoke is (a) a cause of numerous diseases in healthy nonsmokers; and (b) is a major contributor to indoor air pollution; and (c) that children, elderly people, individuals with cardiovascular and/or respiratory disease are at special risk. Accordingly, the purposes of this Regulation are (1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in enclosed public places except in designated smoking areas, and by regulating smoking in places of employment (2) recognize that where the need to breathe smoke-free air conflicts with the desire to smoke, the need to breathe smoke-free air shall have priority.
West Virginia’s Clean Indoor Air Program’s goal is to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a mixture of smoke given off by the burning end of tobacco products, (sidestream smoke), and the smoke exhaled by smokers, (mainstream smoke).
Secondhand smoke contains a complex mixture of more than 4,000 chemicals, more than 50 of which are known or probable human cancer-causing agents (carcinogens). People are exposed to secondhand smoke in the home, workplace, and in public venues such as bars, bowling alleys, and restaurants.