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Report | Evaluating smokefree compliance in a large smokefree park: Methods issues and results

This study by Nick Wilson and George Thomson, evaluated the smokefree compliance in a large public park in Wellington, New Zealand.

The performance of smokefree park policies can be evaluated through surveys of park users, observational studies of smoking and the presence of tobacco-related litter. But only one study we are aware of has attempted to investigate the most efficient approach to evaluating compliance for such policies. We therefore aimed to extend this area of research by determining compliance with the smokefree park policy for a large urban park in Wellington City, New Zealand, and to compare observational and litter count measures.

Conclusion: This small study suggests that there is chronic non-compliance with the smokefree policy for this large urban park. If this problem is typical, then further efforts by the relevant City Council may be warranted, such as improved signage and use of smokefree by-laws. The most time efficient method for evaluating compliance appears to be the monitoring of cigarette butt litter, but the use of observational data can help to provide a richer picture, including around e-cigarette use.

The full report can be viewed here Evaluating smokefree compliance in a large smokefree park: Methods issues and results

For more information please contact:
Professor Nick Wilson
University of Otago, Wellington
email nick.wilson@otago.ac.nz