Ban Smoking and Force Quitting?
SAN DIEGO, CA – Living – “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.
Completely banning tobacco use inside the home – or more broadly in the whole city – measurably boosts the odds of smokers either cutting back or quitting entirely, report University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers in the current online issue of Preventive Medicine.
“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.”
The effort is extending even to the electronic cigarettes. In New York, members of the City Council’s health committee just passed a measure that would stop people from smoking e-cigarettes in the same areas of New York where actual tobacco smoking is not allowed.
“Manufacturers of the devices are really in the addiction business,” said City Councilman James Gennaro who represents the borough of Queens. “This is what they’re selling. They’re selling addiction. They’re selling in flavors like cotton candy, Cap’n Crunch, and all these flavors that appeal to kids. This is what this is about.”
In Thunder Bay, City Council engaged in a long debate on how to support the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and a property-wide smoking ban. Council finally after a long debate supported the measure.
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 nonsmokers 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.”
Does Smoking Have Redeeming Benefits?
If smoking tobacco in cigars, or cigarettes kills so many people, why have governments allowed it to be sold? Often despite anti-smoking efforts, governments are also addicted it appears to the taxes collected from smokers.
The impact on society has a whole from tobacco use, outside of traditional uses for ceremony in Aboriginal culture have few redeeming benefits.
Study Found Partial Bans Don’t Cut It
Al-Delaimy and colleagues surveyed 1,718 current smokers identified as a representative sample of the adult population in California. They found that total home smoking bans were significantly associated with reduced consumption and successful quitting, but partial bans were not. Similarly, smokers who report smoking is broadly banned in their city were also more likely to attempt to quit and succeed than in places where smoking is not banned.
The researchers found that total home bans were more effective in reducing smoking among persons 65 years and older and among females, while city smoking bans were significantly associated with quit attempts in males, but not females. Total home bans were more effective in households without children, possibly reflecting the ultimate goal of cessation rather than primarily reducing children’s secondhand smoke exposure. Neither race nor income significantly modified relations between total home bans and smoking reductions.