Sunday, November 27, 2016

Smoking bans persuade light users to give up the habit

Public Release: 5-Oct-2016
Smoking bans persuade light users to give up the habit
New study provides best evidence to date of value of bans
Ohio State University

A new national study shows for the first time how smoking bans in cities, states and counties led young people living in those areas to give up, or never take up, the use of cigarettes.

In particular, the study found that young males who were light smokers before a smoking ban was instituted in their area were more likely to give up cigarettes after a ban went into effect. Smokers who lived in areas where there was never a ban weren't likely to drop their cigarette habit.

Smoking bans did not seem to affect tobacco use among women, although their use was already below that of men.


Results showed that the probability of a young man smoking in the last 30 days was 19 percent for those living in an area without a ban, but only 13 percent for those who live in an area with a ban.

For women, the probability was the same (11 percent) regardless of where they lived.


Smoking bans didn't work to reduce or end smoking for those who smoked more than a pack a day when the bans began, he said. What they did do was prevent light smokers from becoming heavy smokers.

"We found that locations that have had a smoking ban for longer periods of time have fewer youth, regardless of gender, who are heavy smokers than other areas," he said.

These results accounted for the effects of other tobacco control policies such as taxes, as well as characteristics of the individuals and where they live, said co-author Brian Kelly, professor of sociology at Purdue University and director of Purdue's Center for Research on Young People's Health.


It is possible that men in the study were more likely to frequent bars, so they encountered smoking restrictions more often than women, Vuolo said. That may have led more men to give up smoking.

In any case, bans appear to convince social smokers to give up the habit.

"There's a lot of evidence that casual, social smokers are influenced by their environment. If they can't smoke inside with their friends at a restaurant or bar, they may choose not to smoke at all," Vuolo said.


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