Attitudes towards smoking policies and tobacco control measures in relation to smoking status and smoking behaviour

Eur J Public Health. 2006 Oct;16(5):513-9. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckl048. Epub 2006 May 3.


Background: To examine support for various smoking policies and tobacco control measures among lifetime smokers in a country with weak anti-smoking legislation and an underdeveloped anti-smoking climate.

Methods: Current (n = 624) and former smokers (n = 131) from a general population survey filled in the 30-item Smoking Policy Index (SPI). Structural equation modelling was used to confirm the SPI factorial structure and to test whether smoking status and smoking behaviour variables were related to the six dimensions of the SPI.

Results: The dimension with the highest support was penalties for sales to minors. Sanctions against smokers had the lowest support. Current smokers compared with former smokers showed lower support on the taxes/fees, public education, and environmental restrictions dimensions while controlling for gender, age, and social status. Within current smokers, unfavourable smoking behaviours were associated with lower support.

Conclusion: Even in a country with poor tobacco control conditions, lifetime smokers including smokers with highly unfavourable smoking behaviours strongly support smoking policies and tobacco control measures concerning penalties and advertising/promotion. These measures should be used to promote anti-smoking legislation, and strict law enforcement of these measures is expected to be accepted by all smokers. For measures that are not supported by all lifetime smokers, interventions may be useful to increase acceptability. A limitation of the present study is the absence of never-smokers as a comparison group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Public Policy*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Cessation