The public's attitudes towards tobacco sales prohibitions: Evidence from a nationally representative survey in the former Soviet state of Georgia
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BACKGROUND: In the Caucasus region country of Georgia, no data on public opinion regarding tobacco sales restrictions have been available until now. The aim of the study is to provide data from a nationally representative sample including non-smokers, ex-smokers and current smokers, on their level of support for restricting tobacco sales.
METHODS: 1,588 people aged 13-70 were interviewed at home about their level of agreement with eight possible tobacco sales restrictions, which were combined to create a dichotomous scale indicating low agreement (agree with none to three of eight restrictions) or high agreement (agree with four or more of eight restrictions). Levels of agreement were analyzed by demographic segments defined by age, gender, education and income and by tobacco use status.
RESULTS: Across all eight forms of tobacco sales restrictions, the average support for tobacco sales restrictions was 85.2% which is a high level of support. Among smokers, 71% of women and 87% of men indicated a high level of agreement for restricted tobacco sales; among occasional smokers 54% and 55% respectively. Above 95% of female and male ex-smokers and never smokers expressed high level of agreement with sales restrictions. After adjustment for other predictors, agreement was significantly associated with age (more agreement with higher age) and smoking status (more agreement among never-smokers, less in current smokers), while there were no significant differences in agreement by gender, education, and income.
DISCUSSION: It is of high importance for Georgia to fully implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, including strong sales restrictions, and there is good evidence of public support for doing so.
CONCLUSION: The present findings indicate to Georgian public health authorities that the support for tightened tobacco sales restrictions is high.