Smoking bans motivate even reluctant women to quit

September 2, 2011 By Valerie DeBenedette, Health Behavior News Service
Smoking bans motivate even reluctant women to quit

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, even those who did not make explicit plans to quit, are more likely to attempt quitting.

The difference is the “spur-of-the-moment” factor. Most people who want to quit smoking make a plan. They choose a day they will stop and they might stock up on nicotine gum or chewing gum or throw out all their ashtrays, for example. They might also keep telling themselves that they intend to quit someday. Even if they never act on that intention, it is there.

In other cases, the person decides to stop smoking without having planned or consciously created an intention to quit in advance

The new study uses data from a national survey of 7,610 who work outside the home, 81 percent of whom said they smoked daily.

Twenty percent of women with home and work smoking bans said they intended to quit smoking, compared with 14 percent of those with work bans only, 20 percent with home bans only and 14 percent with smoking bans in neither place.

Yet, even women who said they had no intentions of quitting still made spontaneous attempts to quit, the study found, and a home ban appeared to have a slightly larger effect than a work ban. Thirty-four percent of women who had no prior intention of quitting but who had a ban only at home said they had attempted to quit, compared with 33 percent with bans at home and work and 25 percent with no bans.

“This is good news because smoke-free policies in the home may have an effect on increasing quit attempts regardless of motivation to quit,” said Allison Rose, lead study author, who works with SAIC-Frederick as a contractor to the National Cancer Institute. The study appears in the September-October issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Only 29 percent of women surveyed reported that their home and banned smoking completely, but this varied with socioeconomic factors. Smoking bans were in both places for 17 percent of women with less than a high school education, 21 percent of those making less than $25,000 a year and 17 percent of African-American women.

The main goal of smoking bans is to keep people from harm from secondhand smoke, said Bill Blatt, director of tobacco programs at the American Lung Association. Getting smokers to stop smoking is an added benefit of the bans, he added.

It is not surprising that home bans are associated with more quit attempts because both are personal or family decisions, compared to workplace bans that an employee might have no control over, Blatt said. Someone who creates a home smoking ban usually is going to follow through on it, he said.

“Yet, less than one-third of our population of working women smokers reported that they work and live in smoke-free environments,” Rose said. “This suggests we have a lot more work to do to make sure that all women have full protection from secondhand smoke at both work and home.”

More information: Rose A, et al. The role of worksite and home smoking bans in smoking cessation among U.S. employed adult female smokers. Am J Health Promo 26(1), 2011.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

harleyryder
not rated yet Sep 03, 2011


New study finds smoking bans DO NOT lead to reduced smoking rates

To see whether smoking bans might influence smokers to quit, the researchers looked at 350 medical practices and the number of prescriptions doctors wrote for smoking cessation medication before and after the law was enacted.

In the nine months preceding the ban, prescriptions for all the medications rose by 6.4 percent, the researchers found.

Nine months after the ban, however, prescriptions dropped by 6.4 percent, they report in the journal Addiction.

"It's frankly a little bit disappointing, but not surprising," said Dr. David Abrams, the executive director of the Steven A. Schroeder National Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the anti-smoking organization Legacy.

harleyryder
not rated yet Sep 03, 2011
Abrams, who was not involved in the study, said the impending ban likely motivated people who were already poised to quit.

Once the ban is in place, "maybe you've already skimmed the cream off the top of those who were already motivated to quit," and the rate of cessation activity returns to normal, Abrams said.

So before lawmakers fall for the Nicoderm funded lie that smoking bans reduce smoking rates, know the facts; the only thing smoking bans reduce is revenue in once profitable private bars & restaurants, leading to massive numbers of closed businesses and lost jobs.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.