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Total smoking bans work better than halfway measures

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FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Total smoking bans in homes and cities greatly increase the likelihood that smokers will cut back or quit, according to a new study.

"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," Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, chief of the division of global health, department of family and preventive medicine, University of California, San Diego, said in a university news release.

"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," he added.

The findings are from a survey of more than 1,700 current smokers in California. While total bans on smoking in homes and public places were associated with reduced smoking and quitting, partial bans were not.

Total home bans were more effective in reducing smoking among women and people 65 and older, while total bans in cities significantly increased the chances that men would quit, but not women, according to the study published online November 26 in the journal Preventive Medicine.

The researchers also found that total home bans were more effective in homes without children. This may be because the bans in these homes are targeted specifically at quitting, rather than reducing children's exposure to secondhand smoke.

The findings show the importance of smoking bans in homes and cities, according to Al-Delaimy.

"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.

More information

The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking.

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