Public and policy maker support for point-of-sale tobacco policies in New York
Purpose. To compare public and policy maker support for three point-of-sale tobacco policies.
Design. Two cross-sectional surveys—one of the public from the New York Adult Tobacco Survey and one of policy makers from the Local Opinion Leader Survey; both collected and analyzed in 2011.
Setting. Tobacco control programs focus on educating the public and policy makers about tobacco control policy solutions.
Subjects. Six hundred seventy-six county-level legislators in New York's 62 counties and New York City's five boroughs (response rate: 59%); 7439 New York residents aged 18 or older. Landline response rates: 20.2% to 22%. Cell phone response rates: 9.2% to 11.1%.
Measures. Gender, age, smoking status, presence of a child aged 18 years or younger in the household, county of residence, and policy maker and public support for three potential policy solutions to point-of-sale tobacco marketing.
Analysis. t-tests to compare the demographic makeup for the two samples. Adjusted Wald tests to test for differences in policy support between samples.
Results. The public was significantly more supportive of point-of-sale policy solutions than were policy makers: cap on retailers (48.0% vs. 19.2%, respectively); ban on sales at pharmacies (49.1% vs. 38.8%); and ban on retailers near schools (53.3% vs. 42.5%). Limitations: cross-sectional data, sociodemographic differences, and variations in item wording.
Conclusions. Tobacco control programs need to include information about implementation, enforcement, and potential effects on multiple constituencies (including businesses) in their efforts to educate policy makers about point-of-sale policy solutions.