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.
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. 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.