Smoke-free regulations can encourage people to quit smoking because they provide a social environment where there are fewer inducements to smoke (Fichtenberg and Glantz 2002; Bauer et al. 2005; Tauras 2004; Longo et al. 1996, 2001; Evans et al. 1999; Farrelly et al. 1999; Bayer and Colgrove 2002; CDC 1999; Levy et al. 2004).
Studies show that smoking bans increase the chance that a smoker will successfully quit and prompt those who continue to smoke to smoke less. Fichtenberg and Glantz reviewed the literature in this area in 2002, and they concluded that totally smoke-free workplaces reduce overall smoking prevalence by 3.8% and people who continue to smoke consume an average of 3.1 fewer cigarettes per day (Fichtenberg and Glantz 2002). Bauer et al. report even larger benefits for cessation and consumption with nearly a doubling in cessation rates for those with smoke-free workplaces over an eight-year period compared to those who could smoke at work without restriction during the same period, suggesting that the effects may grow over time (Bauer et al. 2005). Other studies have reached similar conclusions (Tauras 2004; Longo et al. 1996, 2001; Evans et al. 1999; Farrelly et al. 1999). Smoke-free policies also change societal views on smoking (Hyland et al. 2009), which indirectly reduces smoking prevalence (Bayer and Colgrove 2002). The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that smoke-free worksite regulations are an integral component of a comprehensive approach to reducing tobacco use (CDC 1999) and other reviews have reached similar conclusions (Levy et al. 2004).