Strictly enforced tobacco control regulations are necessary to effectively protect the public from the dangers of secondhand smoke, and results from a recently published report in China show strong public support for such policies, the CDC reported in a statement Aug. 19.
Findings from the survey of 31,151 respondents from 14 cities in China showed that more than 90% supported smoking bans in health care facilities and indoor areas of schools and universities. Also, 88% supported prohibiting smoking in workplaces and 86% supported a smoking ban in taxis.
However, in areas with smoke-free policies in effect in health care facilities and schools, awareness of these policies was as low as 34% in some cities, the authors noted. Other areas in need of attention are cessation rates, which remain low, and the cost of tobacco, which is very low in China, they added.
“Through the synergy of effective law enforcement and public-education campaigns, the acceptance of smoking could be reduced and eventually reversed,” the authors said in the report. “Cities could help transform the social norms regarding smoking in the surrounding areas and eliminate smoking in public places.”
The study was funded by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read the full report here.