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One of the biggest arguments against public bans on smoking may be, well, going up in smoke. A study has been released that included research conducted in several countries, and the findings are proving that public bans on smoking may actually be helping smokers cut down on smoking at home. These are some very interesting findings, indeed, and may leave opponents of public smoking bans without this argument to stand on.
The research took place in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, and includes information from two surveys. The first was compiled in 2003-2004, and the second was compiled in 2008-2009. Well over 4,600 smokers responded, with Britain standing as the comparison country because, at the time, it had no public smoke free laws. The other four countries have had smoke-free laws in place for quite some time already.
What did the findings show? Many smokers dealing with smoke-free laws in public were actually more likely to also incorporate smoke-free rules in their own homes, while many smokers already had at least partial smoke-free rules for their homes. This research flies in the face of one of the biggest arguments against public bans on smoking: the fear that bans on public smoking mean that smokers will inevitably bring the habit into their own homes and thus expose their children and other non-smokers to secondhand smoke.
The findings also show that the majority of smokers already had at least some restrictions on smoking at home, though these numbers did tend to vary from country to country. So, while opponents of public smoking bans may have feared the bans would have an ill effect on smoking habits at home, it seems that these fears are largely unfounded.
What do you think? Would the results be vastly different if the studies were conducted in America? Do you think current smokers would be happier if, perhaps, they had an e-cigarette they could use virtually anywhere with no ill-effect?