More and more legislation regulating smoking in public places is being enacted. A conceptual model is proposed incorporating a large number of factors that may affect smokers' compliance with resulting restrictions. The model stems from findings in our own research and from a consideration of the literature. It includes individual variables such as personality characteristics and attitudes, as well as population variables such as social norms and political and economic factors. Education about the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke and attitudes toward legislative measures regulating smoking, in the context of a supportive environment, are postulated to directly affect personal compliance with regulations. Some directions for future research and implications for public policy are presented.
To propose and test a new classification system for characterising legislator support for various tobacco control policies.
Cross sectional study.
Federal and provincial legislators in Canada serving as of October 1996 who participated in the Canadian Legislator Study (n = 553; response rate 54%).
A three factor model (Voters, Tobacco industry, Other interest groups) that assigns nine tobacco control policies according to legislators' hypothesised perceptions of which group is more directly affected by these policies.
Based on confirmatory factor analysis, the proposed model had an acceptable fit and showed construct validity. Multivariate analysis indicated that three of the predictors (believing that the government has a role in health promotion, being a non-smoker, and knowledge that there are more tobacco than alcohol caused deaths) were associated with all three factor scales. Several variables were associated with two of the three scales. Some were unique to each scale.
Based on our analyses, legislator support for tobacco control policies can be grouped according to our a priori factor model. The information gained from this work can help advocates understand how legislators think about different types of tobacco control policies. This could lead to the development of more effective advocacy strategies.
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To examine the relationship between nicotine dependence and attitudes, predicted behaviours and support regarding restrictions on smoking.
Population-based, computer-assisted, telephone survey of adults in Ontario, Canada using a two-stage stratified sampling design; 1764 interviews were completed (65% response rate) yielding 424 (24%) cigarette smokers, of whom 354 (83%) smoked daily. The Heaviness of Smoking Index was used as a measure of nicotine dependence.
Attitudes toward smoking restrictions, predicted compliance with more restrictions, and support for total smoking bans.
Attitudes favorable to smoking restrictions tended to decrease with increased nicotine dependence, but the associations were not statistically significant after adjusting for demographic variables. Predicted compliance with more restrictions on smoking decreased with higher levels of dependence, as did support for a total ban on smoking in restaurants, workplaces, bingo halls, and hockey arenas. Support for smoking bans in food courts, family fast food restaurants, and bars and taverns did not vary significantly with level of nicotine dependence.
Level of nicotine dependence is associated with intended behaviors and support for smoking restrictions in some settings. These results have implications for tobacco control programs and policies.
Using data from a 1996 random-digit-dialing computer-assisted telephone survey of Ontario adults, 424 smokers and 1,340 nonsmokers were compared regarding knowledge about the health effects of tobacco use, attitudes toward restrictions on smoking and other tobacco control measures, and predictions of compliance with more restrictions. The response rate was 65%. Smokers were less knowledgeable than nonsmokers. Smokers were also less likely to support bans on smoking in specific locations, but majorities of both groups supported some restriction in most settings. Smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to predict that most smokers would comply with more restrictions, and more than three quarters indicated that they, themselves, would comply. Sizable proportions of both groups, especially smokers, failed to appreciate the effectiveness of taxation in reducing smoking. Support for other control measures also differed by smoking status. Both knowledge and smoking status were independently associated with support for more restrictions and other tobacco control policy measures.
It is now well established that children's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) results in substantial public health and economic impacts. Children are more likely than adults to suffer health effects from ETS exposure, and the home is the most important site of such exposure. Although the responsibility and authority of the community and health professionals to protect children from harm are entrenched in North American society, social, economic, legal, and political factors contribute to a lower level of support for ETS control measures in homes compared with workplaces and public places. It is now clear that ETS control in home environments must be a priority on the public health agenda. Programme and policy options and strategies for ETS control in home environments are outlined. We conclude that the current research base is inadequate to fully support programme and policy development in this area and priorities for research are identified.
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