204184 Association between smokers' perceptions of smoking regulations and attitudes and beliefs about quitting

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jonathan T. Macy, PhD, MPH , Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Susan E. Middlestadt, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: There is increasing evidence that regulating smoking in public places motivates smokers to smoke less or quit. Less is known, however, about the mechanisms by which these regulations may change smoking behavior. One possibility is that more positive perceptions of the regulations mediate their effect on attitudes and beliefs about quitting.

Methods: This study included 299 adult smokers from six Texas cities who were contacted by random digit dialing and interviewed by telephone. We used sequential multiple regression analyses to examine the association between extent of support for regulating smoking in public places and attitudes about quitting, perceived norms about quitting, and perceived behavioral control/self-efficacy for quitting after controlling for demographic factors, smoking behavior, and strength of the smoking regulations in the respondent's city.

Results: Smokers' extent of agreement with regulating smoking in public places made a significant unique contribution to the prediction of one of two measures of attitudes toward taking measures to not smoke cigarettes in the next month (Beta=.133, p<.05) and both measures of perceived norms about taking measures to not smoke cigarettes in the next month (Beta=.168, p<.01; Beta=.220, p<.001). However, it was not associated with any of the three measures of perceived behavioral control/self-efficacy to take measures.

Conclusions: The results from this study suggest that agreement with regulating smoking in public places is most strongly associated with perceived norms about taking measures to quit smoking. Thus, public health messages focused on these norms may be the most effective in encouraging smokers to quit.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the attitudes and beliefs of smokers that are associated with support for regulating smoking in public places. 2. Explain possible mechanisms by which smoking regulations impact smoking behavior.

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Smoking Cessation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed several research projects using the Theory of Planned Behavior theoretical framework, which this current study of cigarette smoking behavior also utilizes. I directed the development of the study design and the survey instrument for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.