Courtesy Saudi...I had some fun on the eve of the start of the state smoking ban in October with a post about how Ireland’s accordions are cleaner now that the smoking is not allowed in public places.
That post generated a lot of debate on if a state should be involved in regulating people’s health habits. Now comes this headline in today’s Star-Tribune: Since the smoking ban started, efforts by people to quit smoking in Minnesota have jumped significantly.
How do we know this? There’s a lot more action on the stop-smoking efforts.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield reports a 43 percent jump in traffic on its telephone hotline used for people wanting immediate support in their effort to quit. And during the month of the start of the smoking ban, there was a tripling in the sales of nicotine patches and other quitting aids by members of the same health plan.
Blue Cross is not alone -- insurer Medica has seen a 40 percent climb in its members wanting to use smoking cessation counseling programs.
What’s going on with all of this? It may be too early to tell yet, but cessation advocates say that the smoking ban especially targets younger people. The ban doesn’t allow for smoking in bars or nightclubs, and younger people often like to smoke when they’re out partying. Now, if young smokers want to be out on the nightlife scene, they have to divide their time with inside reveling and outdoor smoking, experts surmise. Non-smokers get to stay inside where the action is.
And they’re careful to note that quitting smoking is a long, hard process. Successful quitters usually have to try quitting a number of times before they’re unhooked. But the advocates say that it’s a nice, early, unintended consequence so early in the smoking ban’s life.
Here are some tips on how to stop smoking from another recent Science Buzz posting.