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Research Article

Vol. 8 No. 1 (2004)

Would the Public Support a Ban on Smoking in Public Places? - A Survey of Local Opinion in the North East of England

  • Sadia Ahmed
  • Avinash Aujayeb
  • Emma Cowens
  • Adam Evans
  • Felicity Gent
  • Jean Adams
  • Peter Heywood
  • Martin White
October 25, 2020


The purpose of study is to determine the degree of support for a general ban on smoking in public places and bans on smoking in specific locations amongst adults living in the North East of England. To assess the variation in support for smoking bans by smoking status and socio-demographic factors. Procedures: After appropriate training, ten medical students conducted interviews with members of the public in city centre locations. Interviewers adhered to a structured schedule and all participants gave informed consent. Quota sampling techniques were used to obtain a sample representative of the wider population in terms of age, gender and occupational social class. Main findings: Interviews were conducted with 538 individuals of whom 338 (63%) stated that they would support a general ban on smoking in public places. Support for a ban varied by smoking status and social class but not by gender or age group. Of the specific locations mentioned, support was greatest for smoking bans in restaurants and cafes (83%), shopping malls (72%) and workplaces (72%) and lowest for smoking bans in pubs and clubs (37%), the home (27%) and outdoor public places (23%). Conclusions: Local support for bans on smoking in public places in the North East of England is high - particularly in relation to bans in restaurants and cafes, shopping malls and workplaces. Introduction and enforcement of smoking bans in these locations would not be expected to meet with great opposition and may have a positive influence on public health.


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