Texas Case Study
Local Comprehensive Clean Indoor Air Ordinance in Texas
Type(s) of Evaluation Planned or Conducted and Status
What is the status of your evaluation?
Do you address process evaluation?
During the time the city council was considering the ordinance, the local media (the El Paso Times and KVIA, the ABC affiliate) sponsored an opinion poll. That poll, conducted in April 2001, found that more than two-thirds of those surveyed supported the ordinance.
Do you address outcome evaluation?
Coalition members consider the 7 to 1 vote in favor of the ordinance their strongest evaluation measure, compelling evidence of the success of their grassroots campaign.
That said, two types of more formal outcome evaluation were undertaken, measuring public opinion/attitudes/behaviors and economic indicators. A summary of enforcement activities was also assembled.
Two opinion polls were conducted. In February 2002, one month after the ordinance went into effect, the El Paso Times and KVIA sponsored an opinion poll, a follow-up to their April 2001 poll. In December 2002, the Texas Department of Health and Clearwater Research conducted a survey for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, to measure El Paso residents' knowledge of and attitudes toward the ordinance after one year of implementation.
In March 2003, the Mayor's office conducted an economic impact analysis, to determine the ordinance's effect on the hospitality industry. He also summarized enforcement activities for the first year of the ordinance.
Briefly describe the evaluation design.
No information is available on the design of the opinion polls sponsored by the El Paso Times and KVIA (according to press reports, the February 2002 survey was of 300 registered voters in the city).
The survey conducted for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation consisted of items related to demographics, personal tobacco use behaviors, knowledge of and attitudes toward the ordinance, attitudes towards secondhand smoke, and behavioral intentions re: going to smoke-free venues. The survey used the city of El Paso as its sampling frame, and used a truncated, list-assisted sample design with the household as the primary sampling unit. About 2,003 adults with telephones, living within the city limits of El Paso, were interviewed. The interviews were conducted in English or in Spanish, depending on the respondents' preference. The data were weighted for differing probabilities of selection, and post-stratified to reflect the adult population of El Paso.
The mayor's economic impact analysis compared rates of increase in the total amount of sales in eating and drinking establishments in fiscal Quarters 1 and 2 in years prior to the ordinance (2000 and 2001), with fiscal Quarters 1 and 2 of 2002 (the first two quarters the ordinance went into effect). He also compared employment statistics for 2001 and 2002 from the Texas Workforce Commission.
The summary of enforcement activities was based on information collected by the Police Department.
Data Collection Methods
- Telephone Interview/Survey
- Other: Economic data collected by state agencies; complaints to, and citations issued by the police department
- Tax Revenue Data
- Public Opinion polls conducted by the local newspaper (El Paso Times) and ABC-affiliate (KVIA)
- Telephone survey conducted for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation
- Employment statistics from the Texas Workforce Commission
- Citations issued and calls to the Police Department seeking enforcement
Range of Intended Outcomes
- Behavior Change
- Policy Change
- Increased Knowledge
- Attitude Change
- Change in Norms
List key evaluation findings and/or conclusions for each intended outcome.
In February 2002, one month after the ordinance went into effect, the El Paso Times/KVIA poll of 300 registered voters found that 93 percent of respondents reported that they would go out the same (49%) or more often (44%) now that the ordinance was in effect.
In December 2002, one year after the ordinance went into effect, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation survey found that 78.5 percent of respondents indicated that they supported the ordinance, and only 10.9 percent opposed it (the rest reported no opinion). Although general knowledge about the existence of the ordinance was high, familiarity with the specifics was spotty. Nearly nine of ten respondents (87.9%) knew there was an ordinance, and over half (59.6%) knew that the ordinance banned smoking in bowling alleys. More than 7 in 10 knew that smoking was banned in restaurants, but less than 40 percent knew that bars were also required to be smoke-free.
The Paso del Norte Health Foundation survey also found a significant decline in adult smoking, from 22.1 percent in 1996 to 17.3 percent at the time of the survey (a 20% decline).
The mayor's economic impact analysis found that total sales subject to state sales tax in eating and drinking establishments continued to grow at a steady pace after the ordinance went into effect. Total sales for the first two quarters of 2002 increased by 4.4 percent, up slightly from the prior year's increase of 2.5 percent. The number of waiters and waitresses also went up, by 300, from 2001 to 2002.
The mayor also provided a summary of enforcement activities from January 2, 2002, through March 8, 2003. The summary showed that a total of 247 first offense citations and 1 second offense citation had been issued. In the first year, the police department received an average 15 calls a month asking for enforcement; in 2003 this increased to 22 calls per month. The police department believes this indicates that residents are becoming more aware of the ordinance.
Were evaluation findings and/or conclusions disseminated to policy and/or program intervention stakeholders?
Not surprisingly, the results of the polls sponsored by the media received print and TV-coverage. The coalition also included the results in materials shared with the council, and in its testimony.
The coalition shared the results of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation study with the city council, the police department (which enforces the ordinance), and the media.
Mayor Caballero's office held a press conference with the ordinance sponsor, Mayor Pro Tem Larry Medina, to release the results of the economic impact analysis, together with a summary of enforcement activities.
Briefly describe how evaluation findings and/or conclusions were used to inform program planning or development?
Evaluation findings could be used to refine policy and program intervention strategies, increase staff, technical assistance, and training.
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