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Study Finds Total Smoking Bans Most Effective

Update Date: Dec 18, 2013 04:26 PM EST

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the world. Due to the dangers involved with smoking, government agencies and organizations have worked hard to create anti-smoking programs and initiatives. In a new study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the team concluded that a complete ban on smoking is the most effective way in helping people quit or cut back on smoking.

"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. "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."

For this study, the researchers interviewed 1,718 current smokers who were considered to be a nationally representative group of the people living in California. In 1994, California became the first state to ban smoking in public places. The researchers found that total smoking bans inside the homes were the most effective in getting people to quit or cut back. The team also found that partial bans were not very effective. Furthermore, the researchers noted that smokers who lived in cities where smoking in public places was banned were more likely to quit or cut back.

When it came to differences in sexes, the researchers found that home smoking bans worked for both males and females but city wide bans were more effective for males.

"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," Al-Delaimy said according to Medical Xpress.

The study was published in Preventive Medicine.

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