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Minnesota's Smokefree Policies

Impact on Cessation Program Participants

      Background

      Smokefree policies are enacted to protect individuals from secondhand smoke; however, these laws may have broader cessation effects.

      Purpose

      This study investigated the relationship between Minnesota's local and statewide smokefree policies and quitting outcomes among cessation program enrollees.

      Methods

      Data were collected from 2006 to 2008 from two groups of participants (n=1644 pre–statewide law; n=1273 post–statewide law) and analyzed in 2009. Website enrollees were surveyed by Internet or telephone 6 months post-enrollment. Others were surveyed by telephone 7 months post-enrollment.

      Results

      Those who enrolled in a cessation program after the statewide smokefree law were more likely to quit (p<0.05, relative risk [RR]=1.15) and were predicted to achieve a 30-day abstinence rate 4.1 percentage points greater than that achieved by those who quit pre–statewide law (30.9% vs 26.8%, respectively). Participants who quit post–statewide law were less likely to relapse and were predicted to have a relapse rate 6.4 percentage points below those who quit pre–statewide law (p<0.05, RR=0.87). Each additional year residing in or adjacent to a county with a local smokefree ordinance in place, up until the time of the statewide law, reduced the likelihood of achieving abstinence post–statewide law (p<0.001, RR=0.92) and increased the likelihood of relapse and the predicted relapse rate (p<0.05, RR=1.05).

      Conclusions

      Abstinence and relapse rates for those enrolling in cessation programs appeared more favorable after the implementation of Minnesota's statewide smokefree law, suggesting that smokefree policies may have a small but beneficial impact on cessation outcomes. Previous exposure to local smokefree ordinances may lessen this effect.
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