4008.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 8

Abstract #15353

Restaurateurs and consumers: An investigation of policies and preferences

Celia O. Larson, PhD, Division of Health Care Services Evaluation, Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County Health Department, 311 23rd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37203, 615-340-2129, celia_larson@mhd.nashville.org and Tonya L. Gunter, MS, Division of Health Promotion, Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County Health Department, 311 23rd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37203.

Justification: The Smoke-Free Nashville Coalition is devoted to promoting programs, actions, and policies to reduce the effects of exposure to tobacco smoke. One initiative is to encourage restaurants to adopt smoke-free policies. Before proceeding, it was necessary to gather information from restaurateurs and patrons.

Objective: To determine consumer attitudes and behavioral intentions related to the adoption of smoke-free policies in Davidson County restaurants, to determine current smoking policies among eating establishments, and to ascertain restaurateursí attitudes about smoke-free policies.

Method: Utilizing random digit dialing, telephone interviews were conducted with 1,059 residents. A mail survey was implemented with all restaurants in Nashville resulting in 705 responses (58% response rate).

Results: Most (62%) consumers endorsed smoke-free policies and 87% predicted they would dine at least at the same frequency if restaurants were smoke-free. For those whose dining out frequency would change, equal percentages were found for those who would dine out more or less often. No significant differences were found in reported spending patterns. Significant predictors of disagreement with smoke-free policies included smoking, Caucasian race, and having less than a college education. Of the 63% of establishments that did not have a smoke-free policy, most indicated no interest. The major reason cited was customer preference. However, of respondents (25%) who had received customer feedback; more than half favored a smoke-free environment.

Significance: The information gathered resulted in a smoke-free dining guide, and an advertising campaign directed to consumers and restaurateurs that illustrated the benefits of smoke-free dining.

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify the benefits and barriers of restaurants adopting smoke-free policies. 2. Characterize and differentiate smoker and non-smoker preferences. 3. Describe community wide applications of conducting a consumer preference and restaurant smoking policy survey

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Smoking

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