Adolescents' support for smoke-free public settings: the roles of social norms and beliefs about exposure to secondhand smoke.J Adolesc Health. 2011 Jul; 49(1):70-5.JA
To assess support for smoke-free policies in public settings among adolescent smokers and nonsmokers in a pro-smoking culture.
A total of 1,924 Greek secondary school students (mean age = 14 years, standard deviation = 1.00, 50% female) from nine schools in the urban area of Thessaloniki, Greece, participated in the study. The main outcome measures were supportiveness of smoke-free policies in public settings.
Smoker adolescents were less supportive of smoke-free policies, compared with nonsmokers. Regression analysis showed that policy support was predicted by smoking status and motivation to smoke, social norms, and beliefs about the effects of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. A significant interaction between smoking status and social norms was also observed, as smoker adolescents who often encountered others smoking in public places reported less support for smoke-free public settings.
Three important processes underlying adolescents' support for smoke-free policies not mentioned in previous research were identified. First, social norms of the immediate social environment play a pivotal role in shaping policy support of young people. Second, the effects of smoking status on policy support are significantly moderated by exposure to public smoking. Finally, beliefs about the effects of exposure to secondhand smoke significantly predict young people's support for smoke-free public settings.