OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent of and impetus for smoke-free policies in facilities serving Michigan's elderly, and the extent of tobacco education and smoking cessation programmes for elders and staff of these facilities. DESIGN: Telephone survey in February 1997 of three types of facilities serving Michigan's elderly population. SUBJECTS: Area Agencies on Aging (n = 12), Councils and Commissions on Aging (n = 31), and senior centres (n = 98) located in Michigan, USA. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of smoke-free policies, tobacco education, and smoking cessation programmes in facilities serving the elderly. RESULTS: 99% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 97% to 100%) of 141 facilities surveyed have an indoor smoke-free policy. Eighty-five per cent (95% CI = 79% to 91%) of these policies prohibit all smoking inside the facility. Forty-five per cent (95% CI = 37% to 54%) cited a law as requiring the smoke-free policy, whereas 38% (95% CI = 30% to 46%) indicated the policy was adopted voluntarily for health reasons. Forty-two per cent (95% CI = 34% to 50%) of the facilities provided some education on the dangers of tobacco, while 11% (95% CI = 6% to 16%) arranged smoking cessation programmes for staff or elders. CONCLUSIONS: In Michigan, a very high percentage of non-institutional facilities serving the elderly have smoke-free policies, which appear to increase participation at these facilities. Tobacco education programmes are provided in less than half the facilities, and very few arrange smoking cessation programmes for elders or staff.
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