Preventing Smoking in Open Public Places in University Campus Settings: A Situational Crime Prevention Approach
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Purpose - The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions using situational crime prevention approaches to reduce the smoking rate in outdoor areas of a university campus. Design/methodology/approach - A prospective intervention design was designed for the study. Surveys and observations were used to measure the impacts of both the campaign generally and specific strategies on levels of smoking in public places and use of designated smoking areas. Pre- and post-implementation measures were taken. The intervention strategies entailed encouraging voluntary compliance with a "Smoke-less Campaign", which asked staff, students and visitors to smoke only in nominated areas. The campaign was supported by "situational" strategies to facilitate compliance, such as making smoking areas available, setting rules and posting instructions, and using campaign ambassadors. Findings - At the end of the three-month trial the campaign was considered to have had a positive impact. After the campaign at the intervention campus there was a significant increase of 14.4 percent in the proportion of people who reported that they were not affected by second-hand smoke - from 52.7 percent to 67.1 percent. In addition, 6 percent of survey respondents who smoked reported quitting, while 17 percent of smokers indicated the campaign had helped them to quit or cut down. Observational data showed that 98 percent of smokers complied with directions to smoke in nominated smoking areas. Originality/value - This study is original in explicitly applying the techniques of situational crime prevention to the problem of smoking in public places. The results provide evidence for the effectiveness of the situational techniques, including "facilitating compliance", through the availability of smoking areas, "setting rules" and "posting instructions", and "extending guardianship", through the use of campaign ambassadors.
Copyright 2011 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Health and Community Services