Sometimes -- make that lots of times -- states pass laws or issue regulations that don't quite work out as intended.
Here's a notable exception: smoking bans. Turns out, bans on smoking in public places have a significant and positive effect on public health. The proof is in a new study that tracked the incidence of heart attacks, comparing rates in the city of Pueblo, Colorado, which has had a smoking ban in effect since 2003, and those in nearby counties that had no such bans.
The findings show that in the 18 months preceding Pueblo's ban, rates in the city and surrounding counties were identical. Three years after the ban went into effect, hospitalizations for heart attack had decreased 41 percent in Pueblo. No significant change was noted in the counties.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.