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Indoor workplace smoking bans garner strong support from Hoosiers
Date:10/29/2012

Public health researchers examining data from an Indiana Adult Tobacco Survey found nearly 75 percent of Hoosiers support a statewide or community indoor workplace smoking ban.

The results of this study could be important in increasing focused public awareness strategies aimed at reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, said Terrell Zollinger, professor of epidemiology and associate director of the Center for Health Policy in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, who led the study.

Indiana is 49th on the list of 50 states for protection of workers from smoking at worksites.

Numerous studies have linked adult exposure to secondhand smoke with numerous diseases, including multiple cancers and heart diseases.

It is important that policy makers understand the basis of their constituents' support for clean air policies, Zollinger said. Policy makers generally rely on opinions expressed at hearings or in emails and telephone calls from constituents; critical opinions of smoke-free policies are often overrepresented in those circumstances, Zollinger said.

"What this study does is give policy makers a much more complete picture of how their constituents support these kinds of laws in an objective way," he said.

Data the researchers analyzed came from a 2008 cross-sectional statewide study of 2,140 Indiana adults conducted by the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency.

The study found that 72.3 percent of the respondents supported laws making indoor workplaces smoke-free. Strong support for banning smoking in indoor workplaces was found regardless of whether the respondent lived in an urban or a rural area, Zollinger said.

According to the study, three variables were significant predictors of support: People who never or formerly smoked were more supportive, as were females and those who were more aware of the health haz
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Contact: Terrell Zollinger
tzolling@iupui.edu
317-278-0307
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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