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Measuring the impact of smoking restrictions in public places

A survey on behalf of County Durham PCT into smoking behaviour, attitudes towards smoking and the likely impact of smoking restrictions in public places.

Key benefits:

  • Identified a shift in the profile of smokers
  • Highlighted challenges in educating people in the dangers of cigarette smoke

Our Assigment

NEMS Market Research was commissioned to conduct an in-depth survey on behalf of County Durham Primary Care Trust, focusing upon the topic of ‘smoking in public places’. Amongst the key issues covered within the research were current / past smoking-related behaviour, attitude towards the imposition of smoking restrictions in public places and the likely effect on visiting behaviour upon this. This study was a follow-up to one carried out by NEMS in 2005 and comparisons were required to examine trends.


General conclusions from the survey showed that while smoking levels had reduced the shifting profile of smokers towards women and younger age groups presented new challenges to future efforts to encourage further reductions.
Support for the restriction of smoking in public places had increased over the previous 2 years, but there are still clearly challenges faced when it came to such restrictions in pubs and clubs.
Additionally awareness of the specific dangers of second-hand smoke and its effect on health were already low and had diminished over the last 2 years, presenting a significant challenge in educating people in the specific dangers of cigarette smoke.


Our Approach

1000 face-to-face, in-street interviews were conducted, apportioned across seven pre-specified locations within the Derwentside area, with quotas to provide a representative sample of the adult population. Fieldwork took place over a three week period. A good mix of weekdays and Saturdays were used to help achieve a representative sample of adults.

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