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

September 26, 2012

(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.

Explore further: Smoking bans lead to less, not more, smoking at home: study

Related Stories

Smoking bans lead to less, not more, smoking at home: study

February 13, 2012
Smoking bans in public/workplaces don't drive smokers to light up more at home, suggests a study of four European countries with smoke free legislation, published online in Tobacco Control.

Public opinion lights the fire for politicians to adopt anti-smoking bans

January 26, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Citizens aren't just blowing smoke when it comes to anti-tobacco legislation—and they tend to copy what neighboring states do, new research shows.

Smoking bans motivate even reluctant women to quit

September 2, 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, even those who ...

Recommended for you

Amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

December 15, 2017
How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night's sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

December 15, 2017
Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence

December 14, 2017
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence ...

One in five patients report discrimination in health care

December 14, 2017
Almost one in five older patients with a chronic disease reported experiencing health care discrimination of one type or another in a large national survey that asked about their daily experiences of discrimination between ...

0 comments

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.