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Survey Considers New Smoke-free Law

Contact: Jill Holder

 

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The results indicated that the smoke-free law is not expected to change the social practices of Fayette County adults. The majority of Fayette County adults think they will go to restaurants and other public places either more often or about as often as usual when the smoke-free law goes into effect. Almost seven of 10 Fayette County adults think they will go to bars more often or about as often as usual when the smoke-free law goes into effect. Overall, 57 percent of those surveyed expressed support for the new smoke-free law.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2003) -- The University of Kentucky Survey Research Center, in collaboration with the UK College of Nursing, recently completed a survey of randomly selected Fayette County adults, asking their opinions about Lexington’s new smoke-free law. The questions were part of the Lexington Issues 2003 Survey conducted by telephone from July 19 to August 17, 2003.

“Several of the questions on smoking were similar to questions we have asked in the past on multiple Kentucky Surveys,” said Ronald E. Langley, Ph.D., director of the UK Survey Research Center.

The results indicated that the smoke-free law is not expected to change the social practices of Fayette County adults. The majority of Fayette County adults think they will go to restaurants and other public places either more often or about as often as usual when the smoke-free law goes into effect. Almost seven of 10 Fayette County adults think they will go to bars more often or about as often as usual when the smoke-free law goes into effect. Overall, 57 percent of those surveyed expressed support for the new smoke-free law.

“The results are similar to what we find in other smoke-free communities … these laws are a ‘win’ for public health and a ‘win’ for business,” said Ellen J. Hahn, D.N.S., associate professor, UK College of Nursing.

The survey found that Fayette County adults are already accustomed to smoke-free policies at work, and very few report that smokers violate these policies. Of those who work indoors, more than seven out of 10 Fayette County adults report that smoking is prohibited inside their workplace. Similarly, seven of 10 adults said it was either somewhat or very important to them to have a smoke-free environment inside all public buildings including restaurants and bars.

Very few workers report that smokers violate the smoking policy at work. Nearly all smokers in the survey said they would comply with the smoke-free law.

Two-thirds of those surveyed believed their risk of a heart attack or developing cancer would be higher if they lived or worked in a place that allowed smoking.

“Smoke-free laws act as a vaccine to protect workers and the public from heart disease, cancer, and other respiratory diseases caused or worsened by secondhand tobacco smoke,” Hahn said.

The survey results indicated that most Fayette County adults think that local governments should be allowed to pass smoke-free laws.

Lexington’s new smoke-free law is scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 29, 2003. For more information about the results of this survey, please call Hahn at (859) 257-2358 or e-mail at ejhahn00@uky.edu. For more details about the survey, visit the Web site.


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