Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Advisor

John Stevenson


Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) has been linked to adverse health effects in the general public. It is especially harmful to infants, children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised respiratory systems. Homes and workplaces are the predominant locations for SHS exposure. To combat this risk to health, smoking bans in the public sphere (e.g., restaurants, public buildings, and workplaces) are increasingly mandated by the state, but smoking bans in the private sphere ( e.g., households and personal vehicles) often remain a voluntary choice, which can leave individuals near smokers unprotected from the dangers of SHS. To hone strategies for increasing voluntary restrictions, more understanding of factors associated with this choice is essential. In order to investigate predicted relationships among factors thought to be associated with voluntarily enforcing smoking restrictions in homes and cars, a structural regression analysis was conducted. As hypothesized, individual level factors such as having children in the household, being a nonsmoker, having fewer friends who smoke, having fewer household members who smoke, and being supportive of smoking restrictions in the community were related to voluntarily restricting smoking in the household and car. Also in line with hypotheses, environmental factors such as being covered by workplace smoking restrictions, having less SHS exposure in the workplace, and exposure to anti-smoking media messages were related to support for smoking bans in the community. A proposed mediating role for positive attitudes toward smoking restriction policies received limited support.



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