Total smoking bans most effective in getting people to quit

Dec. 19, 2013 at 1:57 AM
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SAN DIEGO, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Completely banning tobacco use inside the home -- or an entire city -- boosts the odds of smokers cutting back or quitting tobacco, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Wael K. Al-Delaimy, professor and chief of the Division of Global Health in the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues surveyed 1,718 current smokers identified as a representative sample of the adult population in California.

The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, found total home smoking bans were significantly associated with reduced consumption and successful quitting, but partial bans were not.

Similarly, smokers who reported smoking was broadly banned in their city were also more likely to attempt to quit and succeed than in places where smoking was not banned.

"When there's a total smoking ban in the home, we found that smokers are more likely to reduce tobacco consumption and attempt to quit than when they're allowed to smoke in some parts of the house," Al-Delaimy said in a statement.

Al-Delaimy said the findings underscore the public health importance of smoking bans inside and outside the home as a way to change smoking behaviors and reduce tobacco consumption at individual and societal levels.

"California was the first state in the world to ban smoking in public places in 1994 and we are still finding the positive impact of that ban by changing the social norm and having more homes and cities banning smoking," he said.

"These results provide quantitative evidence that smoking bans that are mainly for the protection of non-smokers from risks of secondhand smoke actually encourage quitting behaviors among smokers in California. They highlight the potential value of increasing city-level smoking bans and creating a win-win outcome."

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