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

Jamaica Senate starts debate on pot decriminalization bill

15 hours ago

Jamaica's Senate on Friday started debating a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry on the island where the drug ...

Can Lean Management improve hospitals?

21 hours ago

Waiting times in hospital emergency departments could be cut with the introduction of Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques according to new research.

Research finds 90 percent of home chefs contaminate food

21 hours ago

If you're gearing up for a big Super Bowl bash, you might want to consult the best food-handling practices before preparing that feast. New research from Kansas State University finds that most home chefs drop the ball on ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.