Smoking bans in bars help drinkers drink less too, study shows

(Medical Xpress)—Bans on smoking in bars and restaurants not only reduce tobacco-related illnesses but may also reduce alcohol abuse, a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers shows.

Individuals identified as problem drinkers who live in states that have enacted in public places had a higher rate of remission than problem drinkers living in states without such bans.

"Smokers are three times more likely to abuse alcohol or meet criteria for dependence," said Sherry McKee, associate professor of and senior author of the study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. "We wanted to see if separating smoking and drinking changed drinking behavior. It does."

The Yale researchers looked at data from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and compared remission rates of individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) in states that enacted smoking bans during the study period, compared to states without bans. The study showed that smoking bans influenced rates of AUD among drinkers who drank in public places, like a bar, at least once per month. In states without smoking bans, half of those with an AUD experienced remission. The rate of in states with such bans increased to 61 percent. Currently only 29 states have enacted bans.

States with public drinking bans also had a lower rate of new cases of AUD—seven percent versus 11 percent in states without bans. These changes seemed to be most pronounced with men and young people, as well as .

The results add to evidence of the public health benefits of smoking bans, which have already been shown to reduce tobacco-related illnesses, said Kelly Young-Wolff, the study's lead author.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CDC predicts smoking bans in every state by 2020

Apr 21, 2011

(AP) -- By 2020, every state may have bans on smoking in restaurants, bars and the workplace, federal health officials predicted Thursday, based on the current pace of adopting anti-smoking laws.

Smoking bans motivate even reluctant women to quit

Sep 02, 2011

Many workplaces and households ban smoking and, for some women, the effects extend beyond their office building or family home. A new study finds that women smokers who live and work where bans are enforced, ...

Recommended for you

Breast milk reveals clues for health

26 minutes ago

Evidence shows that breast-feeding is good for babies, boosting immunity and protecting them from a wide range of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, liver problems and cardiovascular disease.

Two ears are better than one

28 minutes ago

Hearing-impaired children fitted with a second cochlear implant (CI) early in life, have significantly better outcomes in aspects of their communication and learning.

Oncology fellows, clinicians report similar burnout

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—U.S. oncology fellows may underestimate the workload they will experience once they enter practice, according to research published online July 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Tentative deal reached on VA reform

5 hours ago

(AP)—The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans' health care system scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering ...

User comments