Attitudes, policy and behaviour change: the effect of attitudes towards smoke-free laws on quit attempts among smokers
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Virginia Commonwealth University, Health Behavior and Policy, United States of America
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A356
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A growing number of studies have examined the effects of smoke-free laws on behavioral change among active smokers. However, few studies have evaluated whether the effect of policies differ depending on attitudes towards laws. The aims of this study were to disentangle the effects of smoking bans at bars and smokers' attitudes towards such laws on quit attempts, in addition to exploring how these effects might vary by gender.

Data from two panels (2006-2007 and 2010-2011) of the Current Population Survey, Tobacco Use Supplements (CPS-TUS) were used to obtain information on smokers' attitudes towards laws that ban smoking at bars and other smoking-related behaviors. Step-wise empirical models were estimated to measure the effect of smoke-free laws and attitudes on quit attempts among smokers. The analyses included state fixed effects and controlled for a series of time-varying characteristics at individual and state level. Stratified analyses were performed to evaluate effects by gender.

Favorable attitudes towards the smoke-free laws were significantly associated with quit attempts among active smokers (OR = 1.12, p< 0.001). However, association between implementation of laws and quitting was insignificantly. Stratified analyses by gender indicated that attitudes were more likely to affect female smokers in their smoking cessation process (OR = 1.16, p=0.001), relative to male smokers (OR=1.09, P=0.07).

This study provides insights on how attitudes towards smoke-free laws influence individual self-control and contribute to behavioral change among smokers, which supports economic self-control theory. Attitudes yield differential effects by gender, emphasizing potential gender disparities in smoking cessation processes. Thus, addressing gender specificity in tobacco control policies is necessary in future research.

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