Objectives: We investigated survey responses to the Smoke-free Bars Law by residents of Long Beach, California (population 460,000), a city that reflects the state's diverse population. The research specifically aimed to determine: (1) residents' approval for the 1998 California Smoke-free Bars Law when it was implemented; and (2) changes in approval between baseline and 2-year follow-up. Data were also assessed for the demographic characteristics of the respondents and whether the respondents were self-acknowledged smokers or non-smokers.
Study design: A random telephone survey was conducted in 1998 and 2000 in Long Beach to determine the degree of community support for the 1998 state law that prohibited smoking in all workplaces including alcohol-serving establishments. The numbers analysed were 784 in 1998 and 1237 in 2000.
Methods: Statistical analyses used in this research included univariate frequency distributions and logistic regression for 1998 and 2000.
Results: The major findings were as follows. Overall community approval for the 1998 state law increased from 65.2% in 1998 to 72.6% in 2000. Over this period, the rate of approval by smokers increased from 20.6% to 37.1%, and the rate of approval by non-smokers increased from 74.5% to 80.3%.
Conclusions: The general public in a large city in California strongly approve of the prohibition of smoking in all indoor public places. This strong endorsement has major public health implications.