Public support for smoke-free areas in Israel: A case for action

Laura J. Rosen, David A. Rier, Robert Schwartz, Anat Oren, Anna Kopel, Alexandra Gevman, Mitch Zeller, Gregory Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe) harms adults and children. Though most governments are obliged by international health treaty to protect nonsmokers from SHSe, few adequately do so. Public opinion can provide a powerful mandate for smoke-free policies, but a representative public voice is often absent from the political discussion. For example, following Cabinet approval of a national tobacco control plan, Israel remains embroiled in stormy debate about smoke-free legislation. This debate has unfolded without benefit of current empirical evidence on nationwide public support. The present study reports and assesses public opinion regarding smoke-free places. Methods: A nationally representative survey (n= 505) was conducted in December, 2010. The response rate was 61%. Results: Public opinion supports smoke-free air in many places. There was broad consensus among current, former, and never-smokers for smoke-free cars carrying children (94.4%), and smoke-free healthcare facility entrances (92.6%). A clear majority (67.0%) supportedcompletely smoke-free bars and pubs. Nearly half (47.3%) supported eliminating school staff smoking rooms. Conclusions: These data strengthen the case for the recent government-approved tobacco control plan. Valid data regarding public opinion on tobacco control can facilitate passage and implementation of smoke-free legislation, thus speeding transition to smoke-free societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Health policy
  • Public opinion
  • SHSe)
  • Secondhand smoke exposure (SHS
  • Tobacco control
  • Tobacco smoke exposure (TSE)


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