As the Indianapolis-Marion County Council takes up whether to make an end-run around Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard‘s veto of an extended smoking ban, the question is raised: would more restrictions on smoking lead to fewer people lighting up?
Dr. Stephen Jay of the IU School of Medicine says studies show bans clear the air in a number of ways.
“Studies over the years have shown that smoking bans not only clear up smoke for non-smokers so that the risk of breathing second-hand smoke is decreased, but the rate of smoking among smokers decreases,” Jay says.
While many people have stopped smoking because of what the public has learned about the risks of tobacco use since the first surgeon general‘s warnings in the 1960s, Dr. Jay says restrictions on tobacco use make even more of a difference. Jay hopes the city will reconsider and pass a restrictive ban, rejecting the argument that people who work in bars that allow smoking can easily find somewhere else to work.