Ashtray availability, signage may determine success of smoke-free legislation

Signs banning smoking may not have as much of an impact on secondhand smoke concentrations as the presence of ashtrays or ashtray equivalents, according to research published September 4 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Constantine Vardavas from the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues from other institutions.

The authors measured the success of a non-enforced, nationwide smoke-free legislation in Greece by testing levels of before the ban and for two years afterward. Following the 2010 legislation, secondhand smoke concentrations dropped immediately, but gradually increased again in subsequent measurements. However, all measurements after the ban remained significantly lower than levels of secondhand smoke measured before the legislation.

They found that outdoor or indoor signs that banned smoking did not correlate with levels of secondhand smoke in areas where signs were posted. However, the presence of ashtrays, or ashtray equivalents, such as candleholders, was strongly associated with a higher of secondhand smoke. Based on their results, the authors conclude "While the public may be supportive of smoke-free legislation, adherence may decline rapidly if enforcement is limited or non-existent. Moreover, enforcement agencies should also focus on the comprehensive removal of ashtray equivalents that could act as a cue for smoking within a venue."

More information: Vardavas CI, Agaku I, Patelarou E, Anagnostopoulos N, Nakou C, et al. (2013) Ashtrays and Signage as Determinants of a Smoke-Free Legislation's Success. PLoS ONE 8(9): e72945. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072945

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New study confirms need for state smoke-free laws

Aug 02, 2013

American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments today on the CDC Foundation's new study released in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, which found smoke-free laws in nine states had no impact ...

Many smoke exposed in home/Car despite smoke-free rules

Jun 14, 2013

(HealthDay)—Many U.S. adults report voluntary smoke-free rules for private settings, such as homes and vehicles, but millions of people are still exposed to secondhand smoke in these environments, according ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments