Demographic differences in support for smoking policy interventions

Addict Behav. 2007 Jan;32(1):148-57. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2006.04.003. Epub 2006 Jun 30.


The Smoking Policy Inventory (SPI) is a 35-item scale, which measures attitudes towards tobacco control policies. The five dimensions of the SPI are advertising and promotion, public education, laws and penalties, taxes and fees, and restrictions on smoking. The SPI has been applied to different samples, both in the USA and internationally. However, no one has investigated if there is differential support for policy intervention among subgroups within the USA. This study investigated subgroup differences on five demographic variables (gender, age, race, ethnicity, and education) across the five dimensions of the SPI. A random digit dial sample of 506 adult participants from the United States was analyzed with five MANOVAs and follow-up ANOVAs. Men (N=188) had significantly (p<0.05) less favorable attitudes towards tobacco control policies than women (N=317) on all five scales. Blacks (N=52) had significantly (p<0.05) more favorable attitudes than whites (N=410) on increasing public education. There were no significant differences between Hispanics (N=21) and non-Hispanics (N=469). Older people were significantly (p<0.05) more supportive of restrictions on advertising and promotion, increasing public education, and increasing environmental restrictions. More educated people were significantly (p<0.05) more supportive of increasing taxes and fees and increasing environmental restrictions. These subgroup differences could be employed to guide the targeting of changes in policies and interventions to the specific concerns of the various groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health
  • Educational Status
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Opinion*
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking Cessation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Social Control, Formal
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States