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Assessment of the impact of the smoke-free legislation on smoking and drinking behaviour - quantitative study

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Assessment of the impact of the smoke-free legislation on smoking and drinking behaviour - quantitative study

A quantitative study undertaken by Taylor Nelson Sofres - British Market Research Bureau (TNS-BMRB) on the impact of the smoke-free legislation on smoking and drinking behaviour.

A study undertaken by Taylor Nelson Sofres - British Market Research Bureau (TNS-BMRB).

Researchers

Sally Malam

Study Aims

To assess the impact of the legislation on drinking and smoking behaviours in Wales.  This was expanded to cover smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke as this was likely to be closely linked to drinking behaviour.

Study Design

The study (including both the pre-legislation and post-legislation surveys of around 1,000 adults each) was designed to yield a representative sample of all adults aged 18 plus living in Wales.   The research was conducted using a random probability approach.  Fieldwork was carried out in the three months prior to the legislation coming into force and again one year later.

Main Outcomes

  • Clear evidence of reduced exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, particularly in pubs, clubs and bars, and at work.  This means that the legislation has achieved its main objective.
  • There was no evidence of any shift of smoking to the home, or of increased exposure to environmental tobacco smoke for children.
  • There was widespread support for the legislation, related to high levels of knowledge of the health risks of environmental tobacco smoke.
  • The impact of the ban on individuals was less than that anticipated by smokers.
  • Levels of compliance were much higher than members of the public had expected them to be.
  • The research provided no evidence of any overall reduction in frequency of going out to pubs, clubs, bars and other venues serving alcohol.
  • There was no evidence of a decrease in smoking prevalence resulting from the ban.  Although there was the reduced likelihood of smoking when out socially and lower estimates of the prevalence of smoking among pub-goers, which could be factors that encourage smokers to quit in the longer term.