Yale Study Finds Smoking Bans Can Help with Booze Problems

Yale School of Medicine

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have come up with an interesting correlation between smoking bans and problems with alcohol.

It seems that, if you drink too much booze and like to go to bars, you have a better chance of kicking that bad habit if you live in a state where you can't smoke while you drink.

Smokers are three times as likely as non-smokers to have problems with alcohol abuse, according to Sherry McKee, an associate professor of psychiatry and the senior author of the booze-and-smoking-ban study.

"We wanted to see if separating smoking and drinking changed drinking behavior," she adds. And the answer appears to be yes.

The Yale researchers compared statistics on alcohol abuse in states with smoking bans and in states without them. The study focused on people who were identified as having "alcohol use disorder" and drank in public places like bars and taverns.

Connecticut is one of 29 states that doesn't allow smoking in places like restaurants or bars or anywhere someone is working. That ban took complete effect in April 2004.

According to the study, about 50 percent of people with alcohol abuse problems were able to solve them if they lived in states without smoking bans. In states with smoking bans, the remission rate rose to 61 percent.

The Yalies also found states with smoking bans also had lower rates of new cases of problem drinkers or alcoholics (seven percent) than states without such bans (11 percent).

And you just thought it smelled better in a bar when no one was smoking. 

 

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