Addiction

Anti-Smoking Laws Reduce Kids' Smoking as Well

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Most comprehensive government anti-smoking policies are geared towards reducing smoking among adults. But a new study has found a positive unintended result -- they help reduce future smoking among children.

According to a news release from the PR firm EurekAlert!, a study out of Australia shows that the anti-cigarette restrictions and other laws have cut smoking among adults as well as adolescents.

There are three reasons for this:

1) As adult smoking decreases, young people have less of a tendency to see smoking as an adult activity.
2) Many smokers are parents, and children of smokers are more likely to smoke when they grow up. If the parents quit, it reduces the likelihood that their kids will start smoking.
3) Many anti-smoking programs directly influence adolescents. For example, there is evidence that emotional ads emphasizing the serious health risks of smoking resonate with young people.

To be effective, governments must continue to fund these programs. "The only way to get this double benefit is to create a rigorous anti-smoking program in the first place," said study co-author Professor Melanie Wakefield. "If governments are determined to reduce smoking in this generation and the one to follow, they must choose effective policies and finance them properly. There's no other way around it."

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The study was published in the journal Addiction.

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