The impact of a communitywide smoke-free ordinance on smoking among older adults

John D. Prochaska, James N. Burdine, Kendra Bigsby, Marcia G. Ory, Joseph R. Sharkey, Kenneth R. McLeroy, Nelda Mier, Brian Colwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Clean-air and smoke-free ordinances have been shown to reduce the prevalence of smoking among the overall population, but their effects on the smoking prevalence among older adults deserves further attention. We examined changes in self-reported cigarette smoking and in attitudes toward smoking after the implementation of such ordinances in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2003. Methods: Communitywide health status surveys were mailed out to northern Larimer County residents recruited via random-digit dialing in 2001 and 2004. Secondary data analysis was conducted for respondents living in Fort Collins, comparing the entire sample with a subsample of adults aged 50 years or older. Univariate analyses were used to determine differences in self-reported cigarette smoking between the groups across the 2 surveys. Multivariate logistic regression models estimated differences in smoking status and in attitudes toward acceptability of public smoking between the 2 survey administrations, controlling for demographic correlates. Results: Smoking rates among older respondents failed to change, despite significant decreases in smoking rates in the entire adult population. Furthermore, attitudes toward smoking in public did not change between the 2 surveys for either of the groups. Conclusion: Different factors may influence the decision to stop smoking for older adults and younger adults. We recommend the use of multiple approaches on different ecological levels to ensure that communitywide antismoking intervention efforts reach all population segments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA17
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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