Cigarette companies are hoping that the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in California, which is set to take effect in July, will lead to more people quitting.
But a new study published in the journal Tobacco Control suggests that smoking may not be the only thing smokers are trying to stop.
The study, conducted by researchers at Duke University and published online on Monday, looked at smoking behavior among smokers in Colorado, Colorado Springs and New York City.
“The key question is: Why do people keep smoking?” said Daniel E. Kramnick, a professor of medicine at Duke and one of the study’s authors.
“That is a question that is a big unanswered question.”
In the study, researchers asked 14,000 Colorado residents to complete questionnaires that asked them about their smoking habits.
In each of the cities, participants were asked how often they smoked cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, snus and chewing tobacco products.
In New York, the researchers asked the same questions and found similar results.
In the New York study, nearly half of those surveyed reported smoking a cigarette at least once a week or more frequently than in the other cities.
In Colorado, that number was just 14.4 percent.
The researchers note that the results may not fully reflect the total number of people who smoke.
They did not take into account the number of smokers in a city or whether a person smoked only one cigarette a week.
The researchers then used an algorithm to compare the behavior of people in each city with their smoking rates in other cities and the rate of quitting each time they stopped.
The authors of the paper concluded that the study was “particularly relevant” to the state of the U.S. cigarette market.
“It is possible that a reduction in the availability of smoking-related products in New York would lead to a reduction of the smoking prevalence among young people,” the authors wrote.
“However, if that is the case, then it seems that smoking prevalence should be higher among older adults and less likely to decrease among young adults.”
Efforts to regulate the sale of recreational cigarettes have been underway in several states, including New York and Colorado, and the White House has proposed legislation to legalize the drug.
Some Republican lawmakers have said they will vote for the legislation if it includes a ban on flavored tobacco products and an outright ban on marketing products to minors.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.