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 journalArticle


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 - Sep 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Poland, B. D., Stockton, L., Ashley, M. J., Pederson, L., Cohen, J., Ferrence, R., & Bull, S. (1999). Interactions between smokers and non-smokers in public places: A qualitative study. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 90(5), 330-333.