, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 616-623,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 31 Dec 2010

Barriers to Adopting and Implementing Local-Level Tobacco Control Policies

Abstract

Although California communities have been relatively successful in adopting and implementing a wide range of local tobacco control policies, the process has not been without its setbacks and barriers. Little is known about local policy adoption, and this paper examines these processes related to adopting and implementing outdoor smoke-free policies, focusing on the major barriers faced by local-level tobacco control organizations in this process. Ninety-six projects funded by the California Tobacco Control Program submitted final evaluation reports pertaining to an outdoor smoking objective, and the reports from these projects were analyzed. The barriers were grouped in three primary areas: politically polarizing barriers, organizational barriers, and local political orientation. The barriers identified in this study underscore the need for an organized action plan in adopting local tobacco policy. The authors also suggest potential strategies to offset the barriers, including: (1) having a “champion” who helps to carry an objective forward; (2) tapping into a pool of youth volunteers; (3) collecting and using local data as a persuasive tool; (4) educating the community in smoke-free policy efforts; (5) working strategically within the local political climate; and (6) demonstrating to policymakers the constituent support for proposed policy.