The use of mobile app survey data to examine compliance with occupational smoking bans: A case study of seven countries
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Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, Seattle, WA United States
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1514
Background and Objective:
Secondhand smoke (SHS) endangers the health of individuals who do not smoke and poses a significant public health risk. Protecting individuals from SHS through smoking bans is a key tobacco control measure, but timely data on the degree of compliance is needed. We used a mobile app-based survey platform, Premise, to assess compliance with smoking bans in workplaces in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Data were collected through Premise between April and June 2022 for a minimum of 900 adult respondents meeting age and sex quotas. Countries represent diverse levels of tobacco control and smoking prevalence. In this descriptive analysis, we included only respondents who reported working outside their homes. Respondents were asked whether their workplace allowed smoking everywhere inside and how often and where they saw folks smoking at their workplace.

Analysis samples ranged from 373 (South Africa) to 604 (Brazil). Respondents in Venezuela and South Africa reported the greatest proportion of workplaces with indoor smoking restrictions (97%), followed by Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines (96%). 98% (Venezuela and South Africa) and 97% (Brazil) reported compliance with these restrictions. Reported compliance rates in Mexico and the Philippines were lower (94% and 96%, respectively). Indonesia (86%) and Turkey (93%) had the lowest rates of reported workplace indoor smoking bans, with compliance rates at 91% and 85%, respectively.

Our findings suggest that there are high levels of workplace smoking restrictions overall. However, even with high levels of tobacco control, lapses in compliance may still result in exposure to SHS in occupational settings, particularly in contexts with higher smoking prevalence. Despite the limitations of mobile app-based data collection, this study highlights the potential usefulness of such innovative approaches to capture real-time compliance to tobacco control measures in different contexts.

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