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Most Teens Support Tough Smoking Bans: Survey
Date:1/9/2013

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- North Carolina, a tobacco-growing state, does a lot to protect smoking: Its cigarette taxes are nearly the lowest in the country, and it only banned smoking in most restaurants, bars and hotels in 2010. But a newly reported survey suggests that its teenagers aren't fans of tobacco.

More than 80 percent of 3,805 middle-school students surveyed said smoking shouldn't be allowed at home, indoors at work or in cars. Slightly fewer (78 percent) of 3,301 high-school students were onboard with these restrictions, but most still liked not allowing smoking in homes and a few other places.

The surveys didn't ask students about whether smoking in these areas should be legal. And, of course, they can't vote until they're 18, so their ability to push for change is limited, at least for a while.

Still, the results show that "it's very clear, that teens and youth want to eliminate smoking in indoor and outdoor places," said study co-author Leah Ranney, associate director at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program.

The researchers surveyed students in 2009. "They're aware of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke exposure, and they understand the benefits of smoke-free policies," Ranney said. "It tells you how effective our campaigns were. We are a tobacco-growing state, which makes it more challenging for us to successfully promote prevention of uptake of tobacco or cessation."

Among the middle-school students, 86 percent supported never allowing smoking in indoor workplaces. The numbers for other places were: homes (84 percent), vehicles (82 percent), indoor public places (79 percent) and outdoor public places (63 percent).

Support for restrictions was slightly lower for high school students overall, and lowest for student smokers who did not want to quit. Among this group, 64 percent s
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