Research Article|Articles in Press

Understanding Associations of Personal Values with Support for Tobacco and Alcohol Control Policies



      This cross-sectional analysis of the 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey (N=3,604) examines the associations of personal values with tobacco and alcohol control policy support, which may inform policy-related communication efforts.


      Respondents selected which of seven value options they considered most important in their daily life and rated their support for eight proposed tobacco and alcohol control policies (1=strongly oppose, 5=strongly support). Weighted proportions for each value were described across sociodemographic characteristics, smoking status, and alcohol use. Weighted bivariate and multivariable regressions tested associations of values with mean policy support (alpha=0.89). Analyses occurred from 2021-2022.


      The most frequently selected values were “assuring my family is safe and secure” (30.2%), “being happy” (21.1%) and “making my own decisions” (13.6%). Selected values varied across sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics. For example, people with lower education and incomes were overrepresented among those selecting “making my own decisions” and “keeping myself in good health.” After adjusting for sociodemographics, smoking, and alcohol use, people selecting family safety (β=0.20, 95%CI 0.06-0.33) or religious connection (β=0.34, 95%CI 0.14-0.54) as most important reported higher policy support than those selecting making their own decisions, the value associated with the lowest mean policy support. Mean policy support did not significantly differ across any other value comparisons.


      Personal values are associated with support for alcohol and tobacco control policies, with “making my own decisions” associated with lowest policy support. Future research and communication efforts may consider aligning tobacco and alcohol control policies with the idea of supporting autonomy.


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