Aim: The population's attitude towards smoking bans in public arenas is important for their passing, implementation and compliance. Smoking bans are believed to reduce the social acceptability of smoking, and once people experience them, public support increases - also among pre-ban sceptics. This study aimed to examine the temporal changes in public attitude towards smoking bans in public arenas from 2007 to 2010 and whether these changes differed across educational attainment, smoking status and intention to quit among smokers. Methods: Data from two surveys among adults (aged 25-79 years) in 2007 and 2010 in the Capital Region of Denmark (n=36,472/42,504, response rate = 52.3) was linked with data on sex, age and educational attainment from central registers. Age-standardised prevalence of supportive attitude towards smoking bans was estimated. Temporal changes in supportive attitude were explored in workplaces, restaurants and bars using logistic regression models. Results: The prevalence of supportive attitude towards smoking bans increased significantly in all arenas from 2007 to 2010. Positive temporal changes in supportive attitude towards smoking bans were seen across educational attainment, smoking status and intention to quit smoking in restaurants and across smoking status for smoking bans in workplaces and bars. Conclusions: The results of this study show that the public's attitude towards smoking in public arenas has changed after the implementation of a comprehensive smoking ban. This change in attitude can support implementation of future legislation on smoking and may lead to positive changes in smoking norms.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2014, Vol 42, Issue 5, p. 401-408