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The purpose was to determine factors associated with rural communities' political readiness to enact smoke-free laws. Data from baseline assessment of a longitudinal intervention study to promote smoke-free policy in rural Kentucky communities; key informants (n = 144) and elected officials (n = 83) from 29 counties participated in cross-sectional telephone interviews. Controlling for population size and county-level smoking rate, the following factors predicted elected officials' perception of the likelihood of a local smoke-free law passing in the next 12 months: (1) support from the local board of health; (2) support from local leaders; and (3) smoke-free hospitals. Communities with lower adult smoking prevalence were more ready for smoke-free laws. Rural health advocates can increase political readiness for smoke-free laws by educating and engaging Board of Health members and local leaders, promoting the voluntary adoption of smoke-free policies in rural hospitals, and investing in effective population-based approaches to evidence-based tobacco treatment in rural communities.


Mary Kay Rayens, Nancy L York, Sarah M Adkins, Erin L Kaufman, Ellen J Hahn. Political climate and smoke-free laws in rural Kentucky communities. Policy, politics & nursing practice. 2012 May;13(2):90-7

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PMID: 23044483

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