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Can small cities fight and win the smoke-free battle?

Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim, MD, PhD and Joan Exline, PhD. Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive No. 5122 , MS, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001, (601)266-6507, iai@usm.edu

Smoke-free cities and towns across the United States is becoming a widespread phenomenon. Ever since Connecticut and passed the State laws to restrict smoking in restaurants in 1974, this movement has picked up a strong momentum. A large metropolitan city like San Francisco passed a law including smoking restrictions in private workplaces in 1983. By 1989, 42 States and 320 communities have enacted laws restricting smoking in public places and at work.

However, it seems that there is no known widespread recipe to reach this “smoke-free” goal. Short of crafting a policy and voting on it in a legislative body, there has been no conceptual framework to place this policy in perspective.

The objective of this paper is to identify a conceptual framework for small communities to be smoke-free. Sifting through hundreds of examples of experiences around the country in implementing indoor-clean air policies, we try to identify a working model and present it for those interested in adopting such a policy. We further explain the components of this model using our experience in the small city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The model calls for a phased-in approach regarding the degree of restriction and the organizations targeted. It also calls for a strong educational component that precedes the implementation of the ban. Our model also calls for engaging the different stakeholders (e.g. community members, leaders, legislators, business owners, schools, etc.).

The process of building such a model involves coalition building, community mobilization, and the utilization of existing resource.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants in this presentation will be able to identify the components of a small city smoke-free policy process model.
  • They will also understand the importance of

    Keywords: Tobacco Control, 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.

    Healthy Lifestyles for Cardiovascular Health and Smoking Prevention

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