Nav: Home

Smoking bans persuade light users to give up the habit

October 05, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio - 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.

"These findings provide some of the most robust evidence to date on the impact of smoking bans on young people's smoking," said Mike Vuolo, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.

While other studies have focused on how smoking bans affect smoking rates in areas where they are instituted, this is the first national study to show how the bans affect individual smokers, Vuolo said.

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.

The study was published in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Data on smokers came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. This study included 4,341 people from 487 cities who were interviewed every year from 2004 to 2011. All participants were between the age of 19 and 31 during the study. The NLSY97 is conducted by Ohio State's Center for Human Resource Research for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data on city-level smoking bans came from the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation (ANRF) tobacco policy database.

The database told the researchers which participants lived in cities where there was a comprehensive smoking ban, which means that workplaces, bars and restaurants are 100 percent tobacco free with no indoor exceptions.

The researchers found big changes in the number of bans from 2004 to 2011. The percentage of people in this study living in a city with a comprehensive ban increased from 14.9 percent to 58.7 percent during that time.

"We found that the implementation of a smoking ban reduces the odds that a young person in that location will smoke at all over time. In other words, young people are less likely to smoke once a smoking ban goes into effect," Vuolo said.

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.

"This study isolates the effects of smoking bans alongside multiple types of tobacco policy," Kelly said.

"Ultimately, it identifies smoking bans as the most highly effective policy tool for lawmakers who wish to reduce smoking among young people."

Vuolo said the study can't identify why smoking bans reduced smoking among men and not women. However, he noted that women in the study already smoked less than men.

"Smoking bans make men look more like women in terms of the amount that they smoke."

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.

The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Vuolo and Kelly collaborated with Purdue graduate student Joy Kadowaki on the research.
-end-
Contact: Mike Vuolo, Vuolo.2@osu.edu
Brian Kelly, Bckelly@purdue.edu

Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu

Ohio State University

Related Smoking Articles:

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.
No safe level of smoking
People who consistently smoked an average of less than one cigarette per day over their lifetime had a 64 percent higher risk of earlier death than people who never smoked.
Nearly half of women who stop smoking during pregnancy go back to smoking soon after baby is born
A major new review published today by the scientific journal Addiction reveals that in studies testing the effectiveness of stop-smoking support for pregnant women, nearly half (43 percent) of the women who managed to stay off cigarettes during the pregnancy went back to smoking within six months of the birth.
If you want to quit smoking, do it now
Smokers who try to cut down the amount they smoke before stopping are less likely to quit than those who choose to quit all in one go, Oxford University researchers have found.
Cochrane news: Have national smoking bans worked in reducing harms in passive smoking?
The most robust evidence yet, published today in the Cochrane Library, suggests that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking, and particularly risks from heart disease.
Advocating for raising the smoking age to 21
Henry Ford Hospital pulmonologist Daniel Ouellette, M.D., who during his 31-year career in medicine has seen the harmful effects of smoking on his patients, advocates for raising the smoking age to 21.
Stress main cause of smoking after childbirth
Mothers who quit smoking in pregnancy are more likely to light up again after their baby is born if they feel stressed.
As smoking declines, more are likely to quit
Smokeless tobacco and, more recently, e-cigarettes have been promoted as a harm reduction strategy for smokers who are 'unable or unwilling to quit.' The strategy, embraced by both industry and some public health advocates, is based on the assumption that as smoking declines overall, only those who cannot quit will remain.
Smoking around your toddler could be just as bad as smoking while pregnant
Children whose parents smoked when they were toddlers are likely to have a wider waist and a higher BMI by time they reach ten years of age, reveal researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte Justine Research Centre.
Smoking and angioplasty: Not a good combination
Quitting smoking when you have angioplasty is associated with better quality of life and less chest pain.

Related Smoking Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".