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Banning Smoking In The Workplace Not Fully Effective

Update Date: Nov 01, 2013 04:25 PM EDT

Many employers have taken initiative to ban smoking in their workplaces in order to reduce second-hand smoke and to encourage their employees to stop smoking. A new study suggests that let alone prohibiting smoking habits at work will not ensure the reduction or quitting of smoking because smokers may be influenced by another smoker at home. 

"De-normalizing smoking in any environment is likely to make it easier to be successful at quitting," Laurent Huber, MS, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health in Washington, DC, said in a news release. "This study demonstrates how important it is to ban smoking in all workplaces and public spaces." 

Huber added, "People have a right to their health, and should not have to choose between a job and being able to breathe clean air."

For the study, researchers surveyed 627 current or former smokers. Researchers asked the participants if they worked with fellow smokers or lived with a smoker.

Researchers found that those who worked with smokers and lived with one increased the odds that the participant was a current smoker. 

"Working with a smoker was linked to almost three times greater odds of smoking, whereas living with a smoker was linked to more than six-fold greater odds of smoking," reported the Health Behavior News Service. "For those people living with a smoker, their smoking was unrelated to whether or not their work colleagues smoked."

Lead author Carole K. Holahan, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas, Austin said, "Our findings suggest that worksite smoking interventions could be made more effective if they included a focus on educating workers' families about the health effects of smoking and the benefits of home smoking bans."

The findings are published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

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