5168.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 2:30 PM

Abstract #5784

Framing the tobacco debate: The impact of different arguments on the development of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) policies

H. Sharon Campbell, PhD, Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada, 519 888-4583, sharoncm@healthy.uwaterloo.ca, Mona Sletten, MSc, Population Health, Calgary Regional Health Authority, 1035 - 7th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3E9, Rodger Gibbins, PhD, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada, and Anne Casebeer, PhD, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine,Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive N.W, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada.

This study examines the types of arguments presented by advocacy coalition groups in shaping local bylaws regulating smoking in public places. Data include stakeholder interviews and document review from two similar rural towns in one Canadian province. In 1995 each town adopted significantly different bylaws - one banned smoking in all public buildings, required signage and imposed fines. The other bylaw banned smoking in the recreation arena, with exemptions possible for private events. Different advocacy coalitions led the initiation process with different arguments and approaches. In the town with the more comprehensive bylaw, a health advocacy group focussed almost exclusively on the health effects of ETS. Their argument was strongly resisted by local policymakers who felt health policy was not a matter of local jurisdiction but rather a provincial responsibility. Eventually a public referendum forced town council to pass the restrictive bylaw as drafted by the advocacy coalition. The other town framed its position around role modelling and protecting youth using the arena for minor sports events. In this case, local policymakers moved quickly to pass the bylaw because youth and facility safety were clearly within their jurisdiction. While other factors also influenced the passage and content of the final bylaws, the initial framing of the arguments determined when the issue became part of the government agenda, which policy processes were followed, which other advocacy groups became involved and the final policy outcome. Lessons about framing the tobacco problem and the impact of that on successful adoption will be discussed.

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe different ways of framing the need for policies regulating smoking in public places. 2. Identify how different framing arguments influence the policy development process. 3. Discuss how different framing arguments might affect policy development in their own locations

Keywords: Rural Communities, 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