Banning smoking in enclosed public places has no significant impact on smoking at home, according to a story by Marc Weisblott for Concordia University, citing research recently published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
“What distinguishes people who restrict smoking at home is the presence of a non-smoker,” says Sylvia Kairouz, an associate professor in Concordia’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. “The social network seems to be more of a factor than the law.”
With advance knowledge of a smoking ban in Quebec, Canada, which took effect in May 2006, researchers were able to collect data from a representative cross-section of the population a month ahead of time. They then followed up a year and a half later.
Kairouz believes that there needs to be an integrated approach to encourage people to quit smoking; one that includes “ecological measures along with taxation, prevention and information”.
“But one of the most important components is to have public health services available for people who are trying to quit,” she said.
The research carried out by Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, was supported by an operating grant from the Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative and a contribution from the Ministère de santé et services sociaux.