Poll Finds Californians Favor More Restrictions on Smoking
The "vast majority" of Californians "support restrictions on smoking in public places not already designated by law as smoke-free zones," according to a new poll. The Sacramento Bee reports that the poll, commissioned by the state Department of Health Services and conducted by the California Field Institute, surveyed more than 1,800 Californians in January and asked about their smoking habits and views on smoke-free environments (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 4/26). The survey found that the percentage of California adults who smoke dropped from 18% in 1999 to 17.1% in 2000, while youth smoking increased from 6.9% to 7.1% (Office of the Governor release, 4/25). Consumption of tobacco declined from 62 packs per person in 1998-99 to 53.2 packs in 1999-2000 (Thompson, AP/Orange County Register, 4/26). Between 82.5% and 88.7% of respondents said they favored making the following environments smoke-free by law: playgrounds and "other child play areas"; common areas within apartments or condominium complexes; hotel lobbies and common areas; and nursing homes and other long term care facilities (Office of the Governor release, 4/25). Field Institute Director Mark DiCamillo said the results were "not too surprising, given that 84% of Californians do not smoke." And according to Bertha Gorman, associate secretary for external affairs at the state Health and Human Services Agency, the survey's findings "are likely to add fuel to proposals to make California's anti-smoking laws even tougher" (Sacramento Bee, 4/26). To view the full results of the survey, go to http://www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/cdic/ccb/TCS/documents/401graph.pdf. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.