0
Special Reports |

Public Health Implications of Voters’ Attitudes Regarding Statewide Tobacco Policy*

Vikas Batra, MD; Ashwin Patkar, MD; Sandra Weibel, MD; Garry Pincock; Frank Leone, MD, MS, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Thomas Jefferson University (Drs. Batra, Patkar, Weibel, and Leone), Philadelphia; and the American Cancer Society (Mr. Pincock), Pennsylvania Division, Hershey, PA.

Correspondence to: Frank Leone, MD, MS, FCCP, Center for Tobacco Research and Treatment, Thomas Jefferson University, Room 805 College, 1025 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107; e-mail: frank.leone@mail.tju.edu



Chest. 2002;122(1):295-298. doi:10.1378/chest.122.1.295
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background: Tobacco use remains the most preventable cause of death and disability in the United States. Public opinion regarding tobacco use is not only an important barometer of the likelihood of effective tobacco-control legislation, but also identifies ongoing public health educational needs. Because > 63,000 children become new smokers annually in Pennsylvania, we chose to evaluate the statewide public health tobacco perspective in order to help tailor future public policy interventions.

Study design and setting: Registered voters were randomly contacted in a statewide telephone survey. To reduce response bias, an independent polling firm conducted the 643 structured interviews.

Results: Most respondents were ≥ 45 years old (55%), female (54%), and had at least some college education (62%). Twenty-eight percent (95% confidence interval [CI], 25 to 32%) were current tobacco users, and 38% (95% CI, 34 to 42%) had lost family members or friends to smoking-related disease. Ninety-two percent (95% CI, 90 to 94%) expressed “concern” about adolescent tobacco use, but only 46% (95% CI, 42 to 50%) believed that government needed to do more. Of respondents opposed to government involvement, 65% (95% CI, 61 to 68%) believed it was an improper role for government, or that there are more important non-health government priorities. When framed more personally, 80% (95% CI, 77 to 83%) indicated that elected officials have a responsibility to “dedicate a significant portion of tobacco settlement” to prevention. Still, 28% (95% CI, 25 to 32%) would oppose laws restricting smoking in establishments frequented by youth.

Conclusions: Prior public health education initiatives have been effective in shaping the tobacco-related health concerns of Pennsylvania voters. As expected, the overwhelming majority of respondents are concerned about youth tobacco use and agree that money should be spent on tobacco-control initiatives. In contrast, many are reluctant to support “government” involvement in what is still seen as a personal issue. Future public health initiatives should focus on this dichotomy and should highlight the utility of an integrated policy approach to tobacco control.


Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543