State Legislators Vary in Their Attitude Toward Tobacco Control

Attitudes of state legislators toward tobacco and tobacco-control policies

From 1993 to 1995, researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted a three-state research study to assess state legislators' intentions to support or oppose tobacco-control legislation, and determine how such intentions are influenced by legislators' demographic characteristics, their knowledge of and attitudes toward tobacco control, and their perception of and contact with lobbyists on tobacco-related issues.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Tobacco Policy Research and Evaluation Program national program.

Key Findings: The study found that:

  • Most state legislators believe tobacco is addictive and that cigarette advertising targets adolescents.
  • More than 75 percent stated that they would support a measure to enforce laws preventing tobacco sales to youth.
  • Legislators have positive attitudes toward lobbyists for nonprofit health organizations and state medical societies regarding tobacco issues.

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