Smoking Bans Could Be Preventative

As Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, are considering ordinances that would ban smoking in bars and restaurants, tobacco experts said the ban could help young adults who take up smoking only when they drink, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reported May 24.

“For young adults who are social smokers, a ban in bars could have a major impact,” said Harry Lando, a University of Minnesota professor and nicotine-addiction specialist. “That is a primary place where they smoke.”

Research shows that 40 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds smoke once in a while, but nearly always when they drink.

“We know that smoke-free workplaces help people quit,” said Jeanne Weigum, a pro-ordinance tobacco activist in St. Paul. “If the smoking bans pass, we are going to see a tremendous public health-benefit for that age group.”