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Public perceptions regarding a smoking ban in public places

Mohammad R. Torabi, PhD, MPH, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, HPER Building Room 116, 1025 East 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7109, 812 855-3627, torabi@indiana.edu and Dong-Chul Seo, PhD, MS, Dept. of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, HPER 116, 1025 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405.

Purpose: As the health threat of environmental tobacco smoke is widely recognized, more state and local governments join the passage of ordinances that ban smoking in public establishments. This study investigated public perceptions regarding banning smoking in public places among Indiana residents. Methods: Using random-digit dialing that included unpublished numbers and new listings, a representative sample of 529 adult Indiana residents ages 18 or older was interviewed. The interview was conducted by 83 professional telephone interviewers at the Center for Survey Research (CSR) in Bloomington, IN, from October 16, 2003 to November 16, 2003 after two waves of pretests. Results: Of the total respondents, 23% identified themselves as current smokers; 65% favored the smoking ban, 79% reporting that the ban would improve health and safety of citizens; and 56% and 62% reported that the state government agencies and taxpayers, respectively, would save money under the smoking ban. However, only 34% and 28% of the total respondents, respectively, favored a smoking ban for car drivers and passengers. Logistic regression analyses indicated that gender, education, and spouse’s education were significant predictors for attitudes toward the smoking ban in public places and that age group, education, and employment status were significant predictors for attitudes toward the smoking ban for car drivers. Spouse’s education turned out to be a significant predictor for a number of perceptions regarding the smoking ban in public places as well as smoking behavior. Conclusion: Overall favorable attitudes toward the smoking ban in public establishments have been formed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Smoking, Tobacco Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Alcohol and Tobacco: Public Education and Media Advocacy

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA