Profile America — Sunday, January 22nd. You may think the debate about smoking is fairly recent. But this week in 1908, the New York City Council passed an ordinance that made it illegal for women to smoke in public. The ordinance was the result of a campaign by the National Anti-Cigarette League, the first to use the term "coffin nails" for cigarettes. At the time, a number of cities had banned smoking, along with the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho, and Tennessee. All of these laws were revoked by 1917, since they were not only difficult to enforce but added to the allure of smoking. Now, just under 21 percent of adults in the U.S. currently smoke. The highest proportion is in Kentucky and West Virginia, at 25.6 percent. The lowest is Utah at 9.8 percent. Profile America is in its 15th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2012, p. 98z 440 International Calendar, Those Were the Days Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 205
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CONTACT: Rick Reed of the U.S. Census Bureau, +1-301-763-2812, fax: +1-301-763-3762, rreed-at-census.gov