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Where There’s a Smoking Ban, There’s Still Fire

Since 2001, the pervasiveness of 100-percent smoke-free bans has increased dramatically—from 32 local laws in 2001 to 308 by the end of 2009. The authors use individual-level data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey to examine the effect of these bans in workplaces, bars, and restaurants on changes in smoking initiation, continuation, and cessation. They find that, relative to increases in cigarette taxes, smoking bans do not appear to be correlated with changes in smokers’ behavior.

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