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Smoke Ban in Public Places Helps Smokers Quit, Study Says

By Staff Reporter / Dec 19, 2013 01:52 PM EST
  • Youth smokers
  • (Photo : Reuters) Smokers' brains biased against negative images of smoking

The war many organizations and public health care officials have been waging against cigarettes haven't been fruitless.

According to a study by the University of California San Diego, measures like baning smoking in public places and work actually help smokers cut back or entirely quit.

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"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," said Wael K. Al-Delaimy, MD, PhD, professor and chief of the Division of Global Health in the UC San Diego Department of Family and Preventive Medicine in a press statement. "The same held true when smokers report a total smoking ban in their city or town. Having both home and city bans on smoking appears to be even more effective."

An estimated 43.8 million people or 19 percent of all adults in the United States smoke cigarettes. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States accounting for more than 440,000 deaths or one in every five deaths in the country each year.

For the study researchers surveyed 1,718 smokers in the state of California. They found that total smoking bans in homes was more effective in reducing smoking and successful quitting than partial bans. Researchers found that smokers were more likely to successfully quite smoking in states where bans were implemented than states where bans were not.

Another observation made in the study was that home smoking bans were more effective in reducing cigarette consumption among females and people above 65 years of age while total state bans were more effective in male smokers quitting.

In 1994, California became the first state to ban smoking and received a very positive response. The benefits of this ban were evident and prevented non-smokers from being affected by second-hand smoking. A previous study found that second-hand smoking, commonly known as passive smoking is more harmful than what people believe. It increases the long-term risk of developing lung disease, such as lung cancer and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Recently popular coffee café Starbucks banned smoking 25 feet near its stores, Wall Street Journal reported. The ban was enforced across the stores 7,000 company-operated cafes in the U.S.

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