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Risk factors associated with smoking behaviour in recreational venues: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey
  1. X Li1,4,
  2. Q Li2,3,
  3. L Dong4,
  4. B Sun4,
  5. J Chen4,
  6. Y Jiang3,
  7. Y Yang3,
  8. B Zhou1,
  9. G T Fong2
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang, China
  2. 2Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3National Center for Chronic and Non-communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China
  4. 4Shenyang Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shenyang, China
  1. Correspondence to Baosen Zhou, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, China Medical University, No 92 Beier Road, Heping District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, PR China. 110001; bszhou{at}


Objective To explore the determinants of smoking behaviour in recreational venues and to provide scientific bases for establishing smoke-free measures applying to these locations.

Methods The International Tobacco Control (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 4815 smokers were selected using multistage sampling methods, and final analyses were conducted on 2875 smokers who reported patronising recreational venues at least once in the last six months. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify factors influencing the smoking behaviour within recreational settings.

Outcome measure Whether a smoker reported smoking in recreational venues during the last 6 months.

Results 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. The following factors were significant predictors of smoking in recreational venues: absence of bans on smoking, support for non-bans, being aged 18–24 years, positive smoking-related attitudes, low number of health effects reported and not living in Beijing.

Conclusions The findings point to the importance of informing 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-normalise smoking in China, a key strategy for reducing smoking in general.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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  • Funding The ITC China Project was supported by grants from the US National Cancer Institute (R01 CA125116 and the Roswell Park Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (P50 CA111236)), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (79551), Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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