Assessment of the impact of the smoke-free legislation on smoking and drinking behaviour - qualitative study
A study undertaken by a team from Glyndŵr University and Cardiff University.
- Professor Odette Parry, Social Inclusion Research Unit, Glyndŵr University
- Professor Ros Carnwell, Centre for Health and Community Research, Glyndŵr University
- Professor Laurence Moore, Cardiff Institute for Society Health and Ethics, Cardiff University
- Dr Simon Murphy, Cardiff Institute for Society Health and Ethics, Cardiff University
To carry out longitudinal qualitative research to explore the impact of the smoke-free legislation on attitudes and behaviour in Wales. The study focused on the impact of the legislation in community contexts where smoking and drinking takes place.
A range of qualitative methods were used to explore change at the individual and community level, in four socio-economically/geographically contrasting localities in Wales. This included repeat in-depth interviews, in a three month period before implementation of the legislation and 12 months later. Panels comprised: current and former smokers; bar workers, managers and proprietors of on-trade licensed premises; Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers; police; and smoking cessation workers.
An intermediate phase of data collection took place three months following implementation of the legislation and involved visits to all participating establishments and interviews with key informants. Focus groups with (mainly) non-smokers were held within communities following introduction of the legislation.
In addition, discreet observations in bars and pubs were made at each case study site with selected monitoring of air particles in licensed on-trade premises pre and post legislation.
- Smoke-free legislation has had a marked impact on smoking habits in Wales and appears to have contributed to changes in attitudes towards smoking and to consumption.
- The legislation appears to have achieved a notable impact among smokers in both advantaged and disadvantaged communities, the latter of which characteristically have both a higher prevalence of smoking and a greater number of heavy smokers.
- A major achievement of the legislation appears to be its impact on smokers’ habitual behaviours and in particular the role it has played in helping to sever the link between smoking and alcohol consumption.