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Smoke-Free Policies Receive Public Support

Overview

National and international studies have shown that state and local smoke-free laws typically result in high levels of public support.1–5

Selected Studies

New York

A statewide smoke-free law in New York took effect in 2003.

A state survey (New York State Adult Tobacco Survey) indicated that public support—from both smokers and nonsmokers—for the smoke-free law increased within 2 years after the law took effect.2

 

New YorkSupported law shortly before it took effectSupported law 2 years after it took effect
Adults in New York64%80%
Smokers in New York25%37%
Nonsmokers in New York74%86%


California

A statewide smoke-free bar law took effect in California in 1998.

A series of surveys found that within 2.5 years after the law took effect, an increasing number of bar patrons approved the law.3

An additional study found that within approximately 4 years after the law took effect, an increasing number of bar owners and workers preferred to work in a smoke-free environment.4

 

California3 months after law took effect2.5 years after law took effect
Patrons who approved the smoke-free bar law46%62%
Patrons who stated that it was important to have smoke-free bars47%61%
5 months after law took effect4 years after law took effect
Bar owners and staff who preferred to work in a smoke-free environment17%51%


Ireland

A national smoke-free law took effect in Ireland in 2004.

A study found that almost a year after the law took effect, an increasing number of adult smokers supported the law and believed that smoking should not be allowed in workplaces, restaurants, or pubs.5

Furthermore, 1 year after the national smoke-free law took effect—

  • 64% of adult smokers supported a total ban on smoking inside pubs, and
  • 83% of adult smokers stated that the law was a good thing or a very good thing.5

 

IrelandShortly before law took effect1 year after law took effect
Adult smokers who believed that smoking should not be allowed at all in workplaces43%67%
Adult smokers who believed that smoking should not be allowed at all in restaurants45%77%
Adult smokers who believed that smoking should not be allowed at all in pubs13%46%


References

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006 [accessed 2011 Mar 8].
  2. New York State Department of Health. The Health and Economic Impact of New York's Clean Indoor Air Act. [PDF–377.32 KB] New York: New York State Department of Health, 2006 [accessed 2011 Mar 8].
  3. Tang H, Cowling DW, Lloyd JC, Rogers T, Koumjian KL, Stevens CM, Bal DG. Changes of Attitudes and Patronage Behaviors in Response to a Smoke-Free Bar Law. American Journal of Public Health 2003;93(4):611–7 [cited 2011 Mar 8].
  4. Tang H, Cowling DW, Stevens CM, Lloyd JC. Changes of Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs, and Preference of Bar Owner and Staff in Response to a Smoke-Free Bar Law. Tobacco Control 2004;13(1):87–9 [cited 2011 Mar 8].
  5. Fong GT, Hyland A, Borland R, Hammond D, Hastings G, McNeill A, et al. Reductions in Tobacco Smoke Pollution and Increases in Support for Smoke-Free Public Places Following the Implementation of Comprehensive Smoke-Free Workplace Legislation in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from the ITC Ireland/UK Survey. Tobacco Control 2006;15(Suppl III):iii51–iii58 [cited 2011 Mar 8].

For Further Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
E-mail: tobaccoinfo@cdc.gov
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO

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