Introduction: Several cross-sectional studies have examined factors associated with support for tobacco control policies. The current study utilized a longitudinal design to test smoking status and attitude toward smoking measured in adolescence as prospective predictors of support for tobacco control policies measured in adulthood. Methods: Participants (N = 4,834) were from a longitudinal study of a Midwestern community-based sample. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses tested adolescent smoking status and attitude toward smoking as prospective predictors (after controlling for sociodemographic factors, adult smoking status, and adult attitude toward smoking) of support for regulation of smoking in public places, discussion of the dangers of smoking in public schools, prohibiting smoking in bars, eliminating smoking on television and in movies, prohibiting smoking in restaurants, and increasing taxes on cigarettes. Results: Participants who smoked during adolescence demonstrated more support for discussion of the dangers of smoking in public schools and less support for increasing taxes on cigarettes but only among those who smoked as adults. Those with more positive attitudes toward smoking during adolescence demonstrated less support as adults for prohibiting smoking in bars and eliminating smoking on television and in movies. Moreover, a significant interaction indicated that those with more positive attitudes toward smoking as adolescents demonstrated less support as adults for prohibiting smoking in restaurants, but only if they became parents as adults. Conclusions: This study's findings suggest that interventions designed to deter adolescent smoking may have future benefits in increasing support for tobacco control policies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health