Online Program

Community characteristics associated with smoke-free park policies in the u.s

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nancy Hood, PhD, MPH, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Debra H. Bernat, PhD, Department of Medical Humanities & Social Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Amy K. Ferketich, PhD, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Elizabeth Klein, PhD, MPH, Division of Health Behavior & Health Promotion, Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus, OH
Background: Smoke-free park policies are recommended to limit exposure to secondhand smoke and denormalize smoking, especially in areas frequented by children and youth. The number of policies has increased in the past several years but it is not known whether communities with policies differ from those without policies. Methods: All counties in the United States were included (n=3143). Counties were classified as having a smoke-free park policy if any jurisdiction within the county had a policy according to a passive surveillance database of tobacco control policies. County- and state-level characteristics were obtained from publicly available data sources. Generalized estimating equations were used to model odds of having a policy while accounting for clustering of counties within states. Results: About 10% (n=308) of counties had at least one jurisdiction with a smoke-free park policy, but more than 40% of the population lived in these counties. After controlling for all significant predictors, odds of having a policy decreased as the percentage of older residents, recent movers, and smokers increased, and increased as the percentage of Democratic voters increased. Additionally, odds were higher for higher-socioeconomic status (SES) versus low-SES counties and for urban/suburban versus rural counties. Smoke-free park policies were not associated with state-level indoor smoke-free policies. Conclusions: Areas with higher proportions of children and youth – who are most likely to benefit from smoke-free park policies – were more likely to have such policies. However, efforts are needed to promote policies among low-SES and rural communities, which suffer disproportionately from tobacco-related problems.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe characteristics of communities that are more or less likely to have adopted smoke-free park policies. Compare the evidence for two different rationale for adopting smoke-free park policies. Identify priorities and opportunities for public health practitioners interested in promoting smoke-free park policies.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a researcher on policy as a primary prevention strategy with expertise in tobacco control. I played a key role in the development of this project focused on tobacco policies within park settings, and I contributed to the study concept, data interpretation, and summarizing our study findings for this conference.
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.