Attitudes toward outdoor smoking ban at Moffitt Cancer Center evaluated

August 10, 2012

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center who surveyed employees and patients about a ban on outdoor smoking at the cancer center found that 86 percent of non-smokers supported the ban, as did 20 percent of the employees who were smokers. Fifty-seven percent of patients who were smokers also favored the ban.

The study appeared in a recent issue of the .

"Policies restricting indoor worksite have become common over the last 10 years, but smoking bans have been expanding to include outdoor smoking, with hospitals leading the trend," said study lead author Marina Unrod, Ph.D., applied research scientist in Moffitt's Tobacco Research and Intervention Program. "Research on the effects of smoking bans on is scarce, however. Accordingly, we wanted to examine the impact of a campus wide outdoor smoking ban at Moffitt both before and after the ban was imposed."

The researchers surveyed 607 employees (12 percent ) by anonymous questionnaires a few months before the ban and 511 employees (10 percent smokers) three months after the ban was imposed. In addition, 278 patients (23 percent smokers) completed anonymous questionnaires before the ban.

"Overall, our data revealed overwhelming support for the outdoor by non-smoking employees and patients," explained Unrod. "Although a majority of employee smokers opposed the ban, a significant proportion was interested in quitting, and 11 employees quit after the ban's implementation."

The researchers noted that nearly one-third of smokers were interested in services to help them quit. Moffitt offered free interventions that included group classes, educational reading materials and , such as , patches and lozenges.

The researchers found that despite high interest in quitting and cessation services, few employees surveyed took advantage of the services offered.

Prior to the ban, smokers were concerned about negative effects of the ban in terms of their ability to concentrate and do their jobs, their interactions with others at work, and their mood. Sixty percent of smokers thought the ban would decrease their overall job satisfaction.

When smokers responded to post-ban questionnaires, a large proportion did not report negative effects in the aforementioned categories. Thirty-five percent reported that the ban had no effect and 20 percent reported that the ban had a positive effect. However, 35 percent of smokers reported an increase in smoking before and after work.

"Compared with the pre-ban expectations, a lower proportion of smokers experienced negative effects post-ban," concluded the authors. "Our findings suggest a need for worksite cessation programs to capitalize on the window of opportunity created by tobacco bans while also addressing concerns about effects on work performance."

According to Barry Asch, an administrator in Radiation Oncology and co-chairman of Moffitt's Tobacco-Free Committee, "moving toward a tobacco-free campus at Moffitt supports the overall mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer."

"While there was resistance from some employees, most stood strong in supporting the beliefs and mission of the institution," Asch said. "Ultimately, the people who wanted to quit smoking and those who understand the benefits of a smoke-free environment are grateful that we took the steps to make Moffitt's outdoor environment healthier."

Explore further: Smoking bans motivate even reluctant women to quit

More information: journals.lww.com/jphmp/Abstrac … ___Attitudes.17.aspx

Related Stories

Smoking bans motivate even reluctant women to quit

September 2, 2011
Many workplaces and households ban smoking and, for some women, the effects extend beyond their office building or family home. A new study finds that women smokers who live and work where bans are enforced, even those who ...

Smoking bans lead to less, not more, smoking at home: study

February 13, 2012
Smoking bans in public/workplaces don't drive smokers to light up more at home, suggests a study of four European countries with smoke free legislation, published online in Tobacco Control.

Heavy-smoking Bulgaria eyes extending ban

December 14, 2011
The government of tobacco-addicted Bulgaria proposed Wednesday a total ban on smoking from June 1 in enclosed public places, including cafes, bars and restaurants, its press office said.

Tobacco display ban comes into force in England

April 6, 2012
A ban on tobacco displays in large shops and supermarkets came into force in England on Friday, meaning such stores must hide cigarettes from public view.

Recommended for you

Hormone therapy in the menopause transition did not increase stroke risk

November 24, 2017
Postmenopausal hormone therapy is not associated with increased risk of stroke, provided that it is started early, according to a report from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

When traveling on public transport, you may want to cover your ears

November 22, 2017
The noise levels commuters are exposed to while using public transport or while biking, could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study published in the open access ...

Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses

November 22, 2017
Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses, but spirits are most frequently associated with feelings of aggression, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm

November 22, 2017
Air pollution, particularly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), is associated with poorer quality sperm, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Sunrise and sunset guide daily activities of city-dwellers

November 21, 2017
Despite artificial lightning and social conventions, the dynamics of daylight still influence the daily activities of people living in modern, urban environments, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.

0 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.