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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Creating the Right Environment for Reducing the Smoke

Helen Glasgow and Michele Grigg. The Quit Group, Level 12, Willbank House, 57 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand

Objective: To describe the multiple influences which have contributed to the acceptance of indoor smoking restrictions in New Zealand, in the period up to one year after the passage of legislation banning smoking in workplaces including restaurants and pubs.

Methods: Achieving acceptance of the changes needed significant shifts in people's attitudes, beliefs and actions. In-depth qualitative research was carried out with individual smokers to identify information that would provide a tipping point in changing their beliefs, attitudes and smoking behaviour. Mass media advertising was developed to promote change. An analysis of environmental factors and their impact on call volume to the national Quitline was carried out to determine the positive and negative influences for the individual smoker. Data from population surveys was studied to assess the impact of change on smoking prevalence.

Results: For individual smokers a mix of negative and positive influences motivated quitting activity. Negative influences such as tax increases and positive influences such as the provision of nicotine replacement therapy patches and gum have worked to motivate smokers to want to quit. The wider New Zealand community has reached a tipping point where the huge cost of smoking has been recognised and the need for a smoke-free environment has been widely accepted.

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