Smoke-Free Workplaces Prod Smokers into Quitting

July 30, 2002
Institute a "no smoking" policy and you might actually cause a few smokers to quit. Or, at the least, cut back on their consumption of cigarettes, according to a new study.

The study found that smoke-free workplaces do more to encourage smokers to quit than do increased sales taxes on cigarettes.

Published in the British Medical Journal, the study noted that for taxes to have as much impact as a smoke-free workplace, they would have to increase by 73 percent.

Researchers Stanton Glantz, a professor at the University of California-San Francisco, and Caroline Fichtenberg, reviewed 26 studies of smoke-free workplaces. They said that if smoking were banned in all workplaces, smoking rates would decrease, as would tobacco company revenues - by almost $2 billion.

"We found that smoke-free workplaces are associated with a decrease in prevalence of tobacco consumption by nearly 4 percent," said Glantz.

Smoke-free environments were also effective in reducing teen-age smoking. Glantz and Fichtenberg found that teenagers who worked in totally smoke-free work sites were less likely to ever smoke than those who worked in less restricted work sites.

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