Background: While tobacco use reduction remains a major public health goal, little evidence exists on how citizens in North Carolina view policy issues related to tobacco control. This research examines attitudes toward tobacco policies among North Carolina parents.
Methods: Randomly selected North Carolina adults with a child living in his or her household were invited to participate in the Child Health Assessment and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) telephone survey. A sample of 3,973 parents or guardians was interviewed in 2005. Support for tobacco prevention and policies was analyzed by demographic characteristics.
Results: Of the 86% of initial respondents who were eligible to participate, 83% completed the 2005 CHAMP survey. Most parents in North Carolina (90.1%) support stronger policies for tobacco prevention. Parents also strongly support restrictions on tobacco in schools (85.6%) and recreational areas and fast food restaurants (83.9%). While many parents report being well prepared to talk to their children about smoking (97.6%) and report talking about the dangers of smoking monthly (84.7%), few report that their child currently smokes (3.9% of high school students and 0.6% of middle school students).
Limitations: Because the CHAMP survey is telephone-based the results are limited to North Carolina parents who have a land-line telephone.
Conclusions: Despite the states historical ties to tobacco, the overwhelming majority of North Carolina parents are in favor of stronger efforts at tobacco use prevention, including increased policy measures. These results suggest that prevention efforts should be expanded and that policy makers who take a stronger stance against tobacco will most likely receive broad support by North Carolina parents.