NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
January 6, 2004 • Volume 1 / Number 1 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Special ReportSpecial Report


States with Laws Related to Smoking in Restaurants

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws related to smoking in restaurants. Laws in these states vary from restricting smoking to designated areas to prohibiting smoking completely.

As of September 30, 2003, five states - Connecticut, Delaware, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont - have enacted laws prohibiting smoking inside restaurants.

Twenty-eight jurisdictions have laws that restrict smoking to designated areas. Twelve of these states require the use of existing or adequate ventilation systems in areas designated for smoking. By March 2006, restaurants in Oklahoma must provide designated smoking rooms that are fully enclosed, with ventilation that directly exhausts smoke to the outdoors, or they must provide completely nonsmoking facilities.

Of the states that restrict smoking to designated areas, more than 50 percent (15 states) have laws that only apply to restaurants with a specified minimum seating capacity. The specified seating capacity varies by state and ranges from 30 to 75 persons. Alabama's law is unique because it gives the owners of restaurants that are considered too small to have a designated smoking area the discretion to have a smoking facility or a completely nonsmoking facility.

Eighteen states have not passed laws restricting smoking in restaurants. Laws related to smoking in outdoor areas of restaurants were not included in this summary. Provisions set forth in state regulations and local government measures are also not included.

Smoking prohibited in restaurants (n=5), Smoking restricted to designated areas in restaurants (n=28), and No law governing smoking in restaurants (n=18)

FY 2004 Appropriations Passed by House

The House of Representatives passed the conference report on HR 2673, the FY 2004 Agriculture Appropriations bill, on Dec. 8, 2003. This bill contains an omnibus spending package for several government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, which funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If the bill is enacted, NIH would receive $27.9 billion, which is $1 billion more than in FY 2003. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the 27 institutes at NIH, would receive $4.7 billion. The conference report will need to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President in order to be enacted. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has set Jan. 20, 2004, as the date for the Senate to vote on the legislation. In the interim, federal agencies included in this omnibus measure will operate at FY 2003 levels through Jan. 31, 2004.

Senate Introduces National Cancer Act of 2003

On Nov. 20, 2003, the National Cancer Act of 2003 (S. 1899) was introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS). The bill emphasizes coordination of data sharing by state cancer registries and registries funded under the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. The bill would authorize funding for programs that emphasize patient education, survivorship, and pain and symptom management. The full text of the act can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov.

2003 Hearings: A Look Back

NCI Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach and staff were called to testify before the 108th Congress on several occasions in 2003. Below is a thumbnail sketch of 2003 hearings that involved NCI personnel. The full text of submitted testimony for all of these hearings can be found at: http://legislative.cancer.gov/hearings.

House Government Reform Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness
This committee, chaired by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), held hearings in September and November 2003 on simian virus 40 and whether vaccines, such as the polio vaccine, have been contaminated with the virus and could be the cause of increased cancer rates. NCI's Dr. James Goedert, chief, Viral Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), testified at the first hearing and Dr. Robert Hoover, director, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program, DCEG, testified at the second hearing. Hoover was accompanied by Dr. May Wong, program director, DNA Virus Studies, Division of Cancer Biology, NCI.

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health
Chaired by Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), the July 2003 hearing entitled, "NIH: Moving Research from the Bench to the Bedside," featured witnesses Dr. Anna Barker, NCI deputy director for strategic scientific initiatives, and Dr. Mark Rohrbaugh, director, Office of Technology Transfer, NIH. Barker reported on a newly announced partnership between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and NCI to accelerate approval of drugs to treat cancer.

House Committee on Government Reform
The June 2003 hearing convened by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) examined the potential public health impact and regulatory challenges of "reduced-harm" tobacco products. Dr. Scott Leischow, chief, NCI Tobacco Control Research Branch, testified.

Senate Appropriations
On April 8, 2003, a Senate Appropriations hearing was held to discuss the FY 2004 President's Budget requests for NIH. NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni was accompanied by all institute and center directors.

House Appropriations
NIH appropriations for FY 2004 were discussed initially at an April 2, 2003, hearing with NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni, NIH Deputy Director Dr. Raynard Kington, NCI Director Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, and two other institute directors.

Senate Cancer Coalition
Co-chaired by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS), the coalition held a hearing on Cancer Survivorship on March 31, 2003. Dr. Julia Rowland, director, Office of Cancer Survivorship, testified for NCI. The coalition held a second cancer hearing in June 2003 on the subject of molecular targets used for treating cancer. Dr. J. Carl Barrett, director of the NCI Center for Cancer Research, testified.