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April 04, 2008

Study: Bar Smoking Bans May Increase Drunken Driving

Hmmm...

Enacting city smoking bans appears to increase drunken driving, a study of arrests conducted by Wisconsin researchers asserts.

A national study to be released by the Journal of Public Economics found an increase of fatal accidents involving alcohol after communities prohibited smoking, compared to arrests in communities without a ban.

The authors attribute that to people driving to places without a ban, and also to driving farther to find a place within a ban area that has an outdoor smoking accommodation, such as a patio.

"The increased miles driven by drivers who wish to smoke and drink offsets any reduction in driving from smokers choosing to stay home after a ban, resulting in increased alcohol-related accidents," the study says.

The authors, Scott Adams of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Economics Department and Chad Cotti, currently at the University of South Carolina, call the results "surprising."

"We thought we would see a reduction," Adams said. "Our first thought was, 'Throw it away, it must be wrong.' "

However, Adams said the claim is backed up by the data.

Eh, most studies are wrong but this is annoying.


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posted by Ace at 10:11 AM

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