Restaurant smoking bans are effective at discouraging teen smoking, the AP reports. Studying Massachusetts because of its patchwork of local smoking restrictions, researchers found that teens living in places with strict bans were 40% less likely to become smokers. Local laws didn’t change how many experimented with cigarettes, but had an effect on how many moved on to habitual smoking.
"When kids grow up in an environment where they don't see smoking, they are going to think it's not socially acceptable," the lead researcher said. "If they perceive a lot of other people are smoking, they think it's the norm."