To evaluate whether people changed their views about acceptability of authority figures smoking after an anti-tobacco initiative, randomly selected southeastern U.S. voters (801 in 2001; 806 in 2002) responded to a 20-minute telephone interview. Acceptability attitudes held steady: most (80.8%) said that any authority figures' smoking in front of youth is unacceptable, with women, minorities, and never-smokers even surer than their counterparts. However, there was a change in 2002, with respondents more strongly recognizing that youth model adults' tobacco behaviors and attitudes. An implication is that media campaigns may benefit from emphasizing that youth model adults' tobacco use.
Telephone surveys were performed to evaluate whether an anti-tobacco initiative convinced people that it is unacceptable for authority figures to smoke in front of youth.
Bonita Reinert, PhD, is Executive Director, Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, and a Professor, The Center for Tobacco Prevention and Health Promotion, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.
Vivien Carver, EdD, is Interim Director, Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, and Professor of Community Health, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.
Lillian M. Range, PhD, is Professor of Psychology, and Research Fellow, The Center for Tobacco Prevention and Health Promotion, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.
Corresponding author: Lillian M. Range, PhD, Center for Tobacco Prevention, The University of Southern Mississippi, Box 5125, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5125 (e-mail: L.firstname.lastname@example.org).
This project received funding from Grant Number 99011405011 from the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.
The authors thank Southern Research Group for data collection.