Turns out restricting where people can smoke may be one of the best ways to deter the habit, according to a survey released Friday.
The survey was small, only 134 people participated, but the researchers found that smoking restrictions inspired quitting attempts greater than even social support for cessation.
The journal Preventing Chronic Disease published the findings online Friday.
The study focused on smokers in the rural South and specifically looked at restrictions at home, work and, interestingly, at church across four counties in Georgia.
Our study is one of the first to document the prevalence of smoke-free policies in churches, and it is notable that churches most commonly had complete restrictions, the authors wrote. Carla Berg, behavioral professor at Emory University in Atlanta, headed the study.
However hopeful, the researchers found that smoking restrictions affected attempts to quit but had no effect on smoking levels.
Health promotion interventions focused on reducing the prevalence of smoking and decreasing amounts of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke may benefit from promoting smoke-free policies in multiple settings, including homes, churches, and workplaces, the authors concluded.