Interactions between smokers and non-smokers in public places: A qualitative study

Blake D. Poland, Lisa Stockton, Mary Jane Ashley, Linda Pederson, Joanna Cohen, Roberta Ferrence, Shelley Bull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Few studies have employed a qualitative approach to better understand how both smokers and non-smokers experience and make sense of no-smoking restrictions in their daily lives. We describe qualitative research involving an examination of self-reported interpersonal interactions between smokers and non-smokers in public places regarding exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Five focus group discussions and twenty individual in-depth interviews were conducted with smokers and non-smokers in the Metropolitan Toronto region as a complement to a quantitative survey of the adult population of Ontario. Strategies used by non-smokers in responding to ETS exposures included verbal confrontations, non-verbal cues, use of a third party, and moving away. The perceived consequences of such actions, as described by both smokers and non-smokers, are discussed, together with implications for tobacco control policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-333
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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