Justification - Although public health protection from environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure is increasing, many facilities still resist ETS restrictions.
Objectives To gather data regarding ETS policies and reported exposure in selected indoor recreational sites across a state.
Methods Telephone assessment in 1999 of owners/managers of 345 indoor recreational sites in North Carolina. Participating sites included enclosed shopping malls, commercial airports, roller and ice skating rinks, bowling centers, and large entertainment facilities. A 38-item scaled-questionnaire assessed owners/managersí attitudes and knowledge about ETS exposure, their current smoking policy, perceived barriers and incentives to changing the policy, and attitudes about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Results The response rate was 71% (n=245). Fifty-eight percent of sites did not allow smoking. Bowling centers (31%) and shopping malls (21%) were significantly more likely than other establishments to not have any ETS limitations. Bowling center owners/managers reported that 49% of customers smoke while at the facility, significantly more than other sites. Almost 90% felt that all sites like theirs should be smoke-free or limit smoking to separately ventilated areas, and 72% responded that their customers would support such a policy. Eighty percent of owners/managers reported that fear of losing customers is the greatest barrier to implementing restrictive smoking policies, although complaints from non-smokers would be incentives for changing their policy.
Significance: Public exposure to ETS continues in many facilities, particularly bowling centers and shopping malls. Focused efforts at both state and local levels may offer optimum public health protection from ETS exposure.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify the variation in environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure policies among different recreational establishments across North Carolina. 2. Describe owner/managers' attitudes regarding the health consequences of environmental tobacco smoke exposure. 3. List the primary barriers and incentives that owners/managers of indoor recreational sites perceive about changing their ETS policy. 4. Discuss how the Americans with Disability Act and other advocacy efforts may stimulate stronger ETS policies in recreational sites. 5. Disseminate action steps for voluntary ETS policy change in recreational sites based on the results of the study
Keywords: Environmental Health, Tobacco Policy
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA