Public Bans Help Curb Teen Smoking

May 07, 2008 09:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Emily Coakley
A Boston University School of Public Health study suggests that public smoking bans reduce teen smoking rates.

30-Second Summary

Kids living in towns that ban smoking in restaurants are 40 percent less likely to become smokers than teens living in places without such bans.

“When kids grow up in an environment where they don’t see smoking, they are going to think it’s not socially acceptable. If they perceive a lot of other people are smoking, they think it’s the norm,” Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health, and the study’s lead author, told The Associated Press.

Teen smoking rates peaked at 36 percent in 1997, and then dropped to 23 percent in 2005, according to the American Lung Association.

Though more states and countries are enacting smoking bans, some places, including Pennsylvania and Virginia, have yet to take similar action. In a recent editorial, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette listed the countries and states that have instituted smoking restrictions since December 2007 and said Pennsylvania, in the same period, has just given the issue “more study.”

Some, like a blogger known as Bah, think a local smoking ban in Virginia is a bad idea for economic reasons.

Smoking remains a major public health concern, but there are a number of resources online to help people quit.

Headline Link: ‘Restaurant Tobacco Bans Influence Teen Smoking’

Opinion & Analysis: For and against smoking bans

Related Topics: Other smoking bans; teen smoking statistics

Reference: Quit Smoking Web Guide


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