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J Community Health. 2012 Feb;37(1):89-95. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9421-3.

Legislators' beliefs on tobacco control policies in Nevada.

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1
School of Nursing, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY 40205, USA. nyork@bellarmine.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify Nevada legislators' views on comprehensive smoke-free (SF) policy development. The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act (NCIAA) is a weak law that prohibits smoking in most indoor public places, excluding stand-alone bars and casino gaming areas. Nevada's state senators and assembly members were contacted to participate in the study. A literature review guided modifications of an instrument previously used to measure county-level officials' policy views in Kentucky. Descriptive statistics were conducted for selected variables, while independent t tests and one-way analysis of variance were used to examine differences between various groups. 23 of 63 legislators participated. Even though the majority of officials recognized smoking as a health hazard and nicotine as addictive, there was not overwhelming support for strengthening the NCIAA, raising cigarette excise taxes or providing cessation benefits to citizens. Officials believed that the NCIAA was having a negative economic impact on smaller gaming businesses, but not on the casino industry. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to agree that raising the excise tax by $1 is important for needed state revenues. 63% of legislators believed that they would be persuaded to strengthen the NCIAA regardless of its financial impact on small businesses, if their constituents supported such a move. No other state relies on gaming revenues as much as Nevada. Given that legislators are strongly influenced by their constituents' views, policy advocates need to establish grassroots support for strengthening the current NCIAA and also tobacco control laws in general.

PMID:
21644023
DOI:
10.1007/s10900-011-9421-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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