New study finds that smoking bans work better than higher taxes to make people quit smoking.
The government imposed more measures aimed to make people quit smoking. But a new study led by a sociology professor at Ohio State University shows that bans are more effective than increasing the taxes.
While the combined power of the two was stronger than the power of only one of the measures, places that have either one or the other have shown that people were twice more likely to quit smoking when bans were imposed than in the places where the taxes were increased.
The sociology professor Mike Vuolo argues that bans are even more effective on casual smokers, who only smoke when they are out in society. For someone who likes to smoke from time to time when they go into a bar with their friends if the bar doesn’t allow smoking inside it makes the person more likely to give up on the idea of smoking.
However, the effect is not as strong for heavy smokers who smoke over a pack of cigarettes each day. For those, increased taxes might work better as they make smoking less affordable.
Efforts are being taken to decrease the smoking rates in Columbus and Ohio. While the first has banned public smoking indoors since 2004, Ohio fallowed in 2006. Despite that, a report from 2014 places Ohio on the seventh position in the top of states with highest smoking rates. Last year 21 percent of the state’s population reported to be smoking either daily or occasionally.
But Dr. Teresa Long, the state’s Health Commissioner says that the ban has helped. According to her, in the years prior the ban Ohio had smoking rates as high as 27-28 percent.
Ohio still has a lot of work to do before reaching the top of healthier states. The state with the lowest smoking rate is Utah, with only 10 percent smokers among its citizens. Ohio’s goal is to reach 12 percent by 2020.
Another study issued this week by Ohio State researchers revealed that adding graphic images on the cigarettes packets with people deformed by conditions related to smoking makes people think twice before lighting a cigarette.
Participants in the study were split in two teams – some were given packages containing text warnings and graphic images and others were given packages only with text warnings. After four weeks those whose packages contained graphic images were more concerned about smoking, they remembered the warning better and considered the warnings more credible.
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