Objective: To explore the determinants of smoking behavior in recreational venues and to provide scientific bases for establishing smoking-free measures applying to these locations.
Methods: The ITC China Survey-a face-to-face cross-sectional survey of representative adult smokers from six cities (Shenyang, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Changsha, and Yinchuan)-was conducted between April and August 2006. A total of 4,815 smokers were selected using multistage sampling methods, and final analyses were conducted on 2875 smokers who reported patronizing recreational venues at least once in the last six months. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify factors influencing the smoking behavior within recreational settings.
Outcome measure: Whether a smoker reported smoking in recreational venues during the last 6 months.
Results: There are 84% subjects reported smoking in recreational venues. Analyses showed that smoke-free laws had been exempted, 32.0% of the patrons reporting bans on smoking in these locations. Following factors were significant predictors of smoking in recreational venues: absence of bans on smoking, support for non-bans, aged 18-24 years, positive smoking-related attitudes, low number of health effects reported, and not live in Beijing.
Conclusions: The findings point to the importance of informing the Chinese smokers about the active smoking and passive smoking harmfulness in both building support for smoke-free laws and in reducing smokers' desire to smoke within recreational venues. They also point to the importance of good enforcement of smoke-free laws when implemented. Such strategies could also serve to de-normalize smoking in China, a key strategy for reducing smoking in general.
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