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Tob Control. 2001 Dec;10(4):329-36.

Science in regulatory policy making: case studies in the development of workplace smoking restrictions.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94142-0936, USA. bero@medicine.ucsf.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the role of science related and other arguments in the development of workplace smoking regulations.

DESIGN:

Case study, content analysis

SUBJECTS:

Written commentaries and hearing transcripts on proposed indoor air regulations in Maryland and Washington.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We coded each written commentary and hearing testimony for position toward the regulation, affiliation of the person submitting it, criteria used to evaluate science and scientific, ideological, economic, political, engineering and procedural arguments.

RESULTS:

In both states, opposition to the regulations came primarily from the tobacco industry, small businesses, and business organisations and appeared to be coordinated. There was little coordination of public health support for the regulations. Arguments about science were used more often by those opposed to the regulations than by those in favour. Supporters emphasised the quantity of the evidence, while opponents criticised its reliability, validity, and quality. Arguments not related to science (61% of total arguments; 459/751), were more common than scientific arguments (39% of total arguments; 292/751). Economic and ideological arguments were used to a similar extent by regulation supporters and opponents.

CONCLUSIONS:

Advocates can support health related regulations by submitting commentary emphasising the sound research base for regulation and countering criticisms of research. National coordination of these efforts could avoid duplication of effort and make more efficient use of limited public health resources.

PMID:
11740023
PMCID:
PMC1747603
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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