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Smokefree Bars Help People Quit

Embargoed until 12 noon, Wednesday 25 June 2003

Smokefree Bars Help People Quit

Smokers would be more likely to quit smoking if bars, casinos and nightclubs were smokefree, according to a study on socially cued smoking and quitting carried out by the Health Sponsorship Council Research and Evaluation Unit.

The study showed that half of weekly or monthly smokers and nearly a quarter of daily smokers would be more likely to quit if smoking was banned in hospitality settings. The Quit Group’s Communications Manager, Liz Price, said that the study showed that smokefree environments were essential not just for people’s health, but to help smokers quit.

“This study confirms what our Quit Advisors tell us every day – that people are more likely to light up if they are in a smoky environment, surrounded by other people smoking. Nearly two-thirds of smokers who frequented bars at least once a month said they smoked more than normal in those venues, while only one in ten smokers who went to restaurants and cafes smoked more than normal.

“Quitting smoking isn’t easy, and just breathing in someone else’s smoke can be enough to cause you to delay your quit attempt, and even to smoke more. Conversely, a smokefree bar or nightclub increases the likelihood of people quitting because the smoking cues – second-hand smoke, and other people lighting up - are not there.”

Liz Price said that the study found that Mâori and younger smokers (under 36) were most likely to say that a total ban on smoking in bars would increase their likelihood of quitting.

“Both these groups have high smoking rates, and creating an environment that will encourage quitting or smoking less can only be positive.”

The study concluded that smoking bans in hospitality settings were likely to be most effective in promoting quitting among Mâori, male, occasional and younger smokers.


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