New Data Measures Americans' Feelings about Smoking in Public Spaces
WASHINGTON, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Results from the annual Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control, released today, indicate that a sizeable group of Americans support smoke-free outdoor public spaces. More than two-thirds (67.3 percent) of Americans feel that smoking should not be allowed within 20 feet of a doorway--a finding that is increasingly relevant as more indoor spaces have gone smoke-free. The survey was funded by Legacy, a non-profit public health organization dedicated to reducing tobacco use in the United States, and by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, through grants to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence.
"As America heads outside this summer, more and more public spaces are smoke-free in light of growing evidence of the dangers of secondhand smoke. Families deserve to have smoke-free spaces to play and relax, both indoors and out," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, president and CEO of Legacy. "This survey is a consistent reality check on how America perceives tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. This year's survey focus on outdoor spaces reminds us that passive smoking is a public health threat, whether in a bar, restaurant, office or even at the beach or park."
"Secondhand smoke is among the most harmful environmental dangers to young children. It is encouraging that America is embracing public health recommendations and taking steps to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke for both adults and children," said pediatrician Judith Palfrey, MD, FAAP, president of AAP.
According to the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, there are currently 100 municipalities, and the state of Maine, that prohibit smoking on public beaches and 464 with smoking bans in city parks. Today's survey findings reveal that 43 percent of Americans feel that beaches should be smoke-free, and 36.5 percent are in favor of smoking bans in parks.
The Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control is conducted annually by the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University and by the AAP Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence to measure Americans' attitudes and behaviors as they relate to tobacco and secondhand smoke, and to policies to protect people from smoke exposure.
Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the national public health organization helps American live longer, healthier lives. Legacy develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation's programs include truthŪ, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as having contributed to significant declines in youth smoking; EXŪ, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit http://www.legacyforhealth.org/.
Legacy is equipped with a VideoLink ReadyCam(TM) television studio system, providing journalists with faster, easier access to the nation's leading tobacco prevention and cessation experts. From this in-house broadcast studio, Legacy can offer immediate access to its experts to comment on breaking news, new research publications, or any news related to youth smoking prevention, adult quit smoking programs, or any issue related to smoking. The studio is connected directly to the Vyvx fiber network and is always available for live or pre-taped interviews. To arrange an interview, please contact Julia Cartwright at 202-454-5596.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. www.aap.org and www.healthychildren.org
The AAP Julius B. Richmond Center is dedicated to the elimination of childrens' exposure to tobacco and secondhand smoke www.aap.org/richmondcenter