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Support for smoke free policies among smokers and non-smokers in six cities in China
  1. Qiang Li1,
  2. Andrew Hyland2,
  3. Richard J O'Connor2,
  4. Guodong Zhao3,
  5. Lin Du4,
  6. Xun Li5,
  7. Geoffrey T Fong1
  1. 1 University of Waterloo, China;
  2. 2 Roswell Park Cancer Institute, United States;
  3. 3 Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, United States;
  4. 4 Guangzhou City Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China;
  5. 5 Public Health College, China Medical University, China
  1. * Corresponding author; email: qangli33{at}


Objective:To examine levels of support for comprehensive smoke free policies in six large Chinese cities.

Methods: Data from Wave 1 of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey (April-CAugust 2006) were analyzed. The ITC China Survey employed a multistage sampling design in Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Yinchuan (none of which have comprehensive smoke free policies in place). Face to face interviews were conducted with a total of 4,815 smokers and 1,270 non-smokers. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with support for comprehensive smoke free policies.

Results: About 1 in 2 Chinese urban smokers and 4 in 5 non-smokers believed that secondhand smoke (SHS) causes lung cancer. The majority of respondents supported comprehensive smokefree policies in hospitals, schools, and public transport vehicles while support for smokefree workplaces, restaurants and bars was lower. Levels of support were generally comparable between smokers and non-smokers. Support for comprehensive smokefree policies was positively associated with knowledge about the harm of SHS. Respondents who worked in a smokefree worksite or who frequented smokefree indoor entertainment places were more likely to support comprehensive smoking restriction in bars and restaurants.

Conclusion: Considerable support for smokefree policies exists in these six large cities in China. Greater public education about the dangers of SHS may further increase support. Experiencing the benefits of smokefree indoor entertainment places and/or workplaces increases support for these policies and suggests that some initial smokefree policy implementation may hasten the diffusion of these public health policies.

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