Minnesota tobacco-free park policies: Attitudes of the general public and park officials

Elizabeth G. Klein, Jean L. Forster, Brittany McFadden, Corliss W. Outley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

A growing number of cities and counties in Minnesota have adopted policies or ordinances that restrict tobacco in outdoor locations. Current policies banning or limiting tobacco use on park and recreation grounds exist in at least 70 communities around Minnesota. However, little is known about the support for such policies. The goal of this project was to learn more about the level of support for tobacco-free park policies in Minnesota. A mail survey was sent to 2,400 randomly selected adult Minnesota residents, and a phone survey was administered to 257 park and recreation directors. Of the 2,400 surveys mailed, 1,501 (68%) were returned. Among the general public, 70% favored tobacco-free park policies. Reasons cited for supporting such policies include to reduce litter (71%), to reduce youth opportunities to smoke (65%), to avoid second-hand smoke (64%), and to establish positive role models for youth (63%). Park and recreation directors also support such policies (75%). Recreation directors in cities without a policy expressed a high level of concern over enforcement issues (91%), but few problems were reported (26%) in communities with a tobacco-free park policy. Broad support for tobacco-free park policies exists among the public at large and among park and recreation directors who work in tobacco-free parks. Fears of policy difficulties among park and recreation directors who work in parks without a tobacco-free policy are much greater than actual problems experienced in Minnesota tobacco-free park areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S49-S55
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Volume9
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

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