The social context of smoking behaviours is explored after the introduction of Scottish smoke-free legislation. A longitudinal qualitative study was conducted in four contrasting localities. Whilst post-legislation changes in smoking behaviour were evident in all four localities, they were most apparent in the disadvantaged localities. Changes in the patterns of smoking were linked to the ways in which people interacted in social contexts and how people re-negotiated habitual smoking behaviours in public spaces. Pre-legislation differences in the communities appeared to influence the extent of these changes. Cultural and social contexts are important in shaping smoking behaviours and locating change within public places.
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