OBJECTIVE: To report on the development and validation of a rating scale to code the various components of written tobacco policies. DESIGN: A one-page Tobacco Policy Rating Form (TPRF) was developed to apply to written policies in both worksites and American Indian tribes. Fifteen worksite and 24 tribal tobacco policies from a diverse set of companies and tribes of varying size and economic status were rated on the TPRF by two separate sets of experienced and inexperienced raters. Kendall's coefficient of concordance (W) was computed to measure inter-rater agreement. RESULTS: The scale was found to produce a high level of agreement when used by both experienced and inexperienced raters on both tribal and worksite policies. For experienced raters, W = 0.92, P < 0.0001 for tribal policies and W = 0.97, P < 0.0001 for worksite policies; for inexperienced raters, W = 0.89, P < 0.0001 for tribal policies and W = 0.96, P < 0.0001 for worksite policies. CONCLUSIONS: The TPRF seems worthy of future use as a tool to rate the strength and comprehensiveness of written tobacco policies. It may be extended to other settings such as schools and municipalities, or used by investigators studying behavioural or economic consequences of smoking policies. Those interested in policy change may find the TPRF useful as a way of describing existing policies and as a quantitative measure of change.
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