220088 Political climate and smoke-free laws in rural communities: Views from elected officials and community advocates

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Mary Kay Rayens, PhD , College of Nursing and College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Nancy L. York, PhD, RN, CNE , School of Nursing, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Sarah Adkins, MS , College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Erin Kaufman, MPH , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Ellen Hahn, DNS, RN , College of Nursing and College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
The purpose was to determine factors associated with the political climate to enact smoke-free laws in rural communities. Health advocates in 30 rural Kentucky counties were interviewed using a 37-item questionnaire assessing their group's activities and resources and their elected officials' views on smoke-free policy. Elected officials from these counties were interviewed using a 35-item questionnaire assessing their views about smoke-free policy and contact with/influence over smoke-free policies. Advocates' and elected officials' responses were averaged to create county-level measures for each respondent type. Summary scores for dimensions of readiness for smoke-free policy (leadership, knowledge, community climate, existing policies, resources and political climate) were determined; the first 5 were based on advocate responses and political climate was based on elected official responses. Items with related content were compared between the two responder groups. Advocates' perception of support for a smoke-free law was positively related to elected officials' response to the likelihood of such a law passing in the next year. Controlling for population size and smoking rate, advocates' rating of the existing policies dimension (including smoke-free restaurants and manufacturing facilities) was associated with elected officials' view on the likelihood of a smoke-free law passing in the next year. Elected officials from rural communities with more voluntary smoke-free policies were more likely to report likelihood of smoke-free law enactment in the next year compared to those with fewer voluntary smoke-free policies. Rural health advocates can increase political readiness for smoke-free laws by working with public venues to voluntarily adopt smoke-free policies.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the degree of agreement on the development of smoke-free laws between advocates and elected officials in underserved rural counties. 2. Identify the development of voluntary smoke-free policies as a strategy for increasing community readiness for enacting smoke-free laws in rural areas.

Keywords: Public Policy, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am Co-Director of the Tobacco Policy Research Program at a university.
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.

Back to: 3059.0: Tobacco control