(HealthDay News) — Comprehensive cigarette bans are most effective at limiting smoking among casual users, but high taxes may have the most impact on people who smoke more than a pack a day, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the American Journal of Public Health.
The study included 4,341 people aged 19 to 31 in 487 cities who were interviewed every year between 2004 and 2011. The percentage of participants who lived in a city with a comprehensive smoking ban rose from 14.9 to 58.7 percent during the study period, and average taxes increased from 81 cents to $1.65 a pack.
The researchers found significant effects for comprehensive smoking bans, but not excise taxes, for current smoking. They found that bans seemed most effective in locales with no or low taxes. However, significant effects on daily pack smoking were seen for taxes, with limited support for bans.
“Both taxes and bans have their place. But bans might stop casual smokers from becoming heavy tobacco users,” study author Mike Vuolo, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, said in a university news release.