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Health Promot J Austr. 2011 Apr;22(1):11-6.

Support for smoke-free vocational education settings: an exploratory survey of staff behaviours, experiences and attitudes.

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The Centre for Health Research & Psycho-Oncology, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW.



TAFE staff are likely to play a pivotal role in achieving smoke-free environments for vocational education.The aim of this survey was to explore staff experiences, behaviours and attitudes towards smoking and smoke-free policies for the TAFE setting.


A web-based survey that measured smoking behaviours, on-campus exposure to smoking, awareness of smoke-free policies and attitudes towards smoking and tobacco control was e-mailed to al staff at one TAFE New South Wales (NSW) institute. In total, 632 staff completed the survey.


Overall, 10% of staff reported to be current daily, weekly or occasional smokers. Most staff (76.2%) said that they saw someone smoking at TAFE every day and the most common location was'outside buildings'(75.3%). A majority of staff (75.9%) said they avoided places at TAFE where they were exposed to other peoples'cigarette smoke. Only 26% said that existing smoking policies were always enforced. Non-smokers had a significantly higher (p<0.005) pro-tobacco control attitudes score mean of 4.2 (SD=1.8), compared with the mean of 2.3 (SD=1.4) for current smokers. Status as a non-smoker was the only statistically significant predictor of high pro-tobacco control attitude score.


This study provides preliminary evidence that TAFE staff are likely to be supportive of smoke-free TAFE campuses.

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