Imagine, for example, the cost savings and the quality of live improvements that millions of Americans would enjoy if we could see a 33% reduction in obesity-related chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
Yawn says anti-smoking ordinances provide the blueprint for cost-effective, preventative public healthcare policy. She believes the lessons learned can be applied elsewhere, the results replicated.
"Stopping smoking in public places has to be one of the most doable and effective tools that we have," she says. "This is really an important instance of where we need to be going with improving people's health. I can give them medication and I can improve one person at a time but if we do these public health measures we can improve the lives of hundreds and thousands of people over a period of time by something like this public approach to smoking."