Tracking Success

Tracking the impact of a new smoke-free law on public opinion, indoor air quality, compliance, employee health and business can ensure that the law is having its intended benefits and help celebrate the law's success in protecting and improving community health.

Carefully done research on your smoke-free law's impact can also support ongoing media advocacy on the law's health and economic benefits.

Evaluation

More and more communities are evaluating the impact their new smoke-free law has on health and business, as well as public support and compliance.

Such evaluations help ensure the law is having its intended benefits; support continued education about the law's health and economic benefits through media advocacy; and counter opponents' efforts to undermine public support for the law.

There is always a need for “fresh off the presses” evidence to assist those who are not yet protected by a strong, 100 percent smoke-free indoor air law.

View Economic Impact of Smoke-free Policies on Restaurants and Bars (Presentation), a presentation delivered Andrew Hyland, Roswell Park Cancer Institute for more information.

Consider what types of evaluation you want to conduct after your smoke-free law goes into effect. Air quality tests and public opinion surveys, in particular, have proved to be efficient uses of resources to demonstrate the benefits of and support for smoke-free laws. Identify your reasons for studying various aspects of the new law's impact (media advocacy, feedback to policy makers, etc.) and determine what, if any, money is available. Some key questions to consider include:

If you choose to conduct certain evaluation studies, some data needs to be collected before the new law goes into effect in order to make effective comparisons after it takes effect. These include:

 

Public Opinion

Once the new laws have been implemenented, see how people feel about their communities going smoke free. Hire a reputable company that regularly handles public opinion surveys to make sure you're receiving objective and scientifically credible results.