Bans Keep Teens From Lighting Up

Restaurant prohibitions seen to influence how youngsters see smoking: study
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2008 11:27 AM CDT
A visitor to an outdoor Earth Day exhibition, which falls on April 22, walks past a mural made by Seattle-based photo artist Chris Jordan at Taiwan's Democracy Hall square Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, April...   (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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(Newser) – 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."