Support for a Campus Tobacco-Free Policy among Non-Smokers: Findings from a Developing Country

  • Yasin, Siti Munira (Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA) ;
  • Isa, Mohamad Rodi (Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA) ;
  • Fadzil, Mohd Ariff (Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA) ;
  • Zamhuri, Mohammad Idris (Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA) ;
  • Selamat, Mohamad Ikhsan (Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA) ;
  • Ruzlin, Aimi Nadira Mat (Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA) ;
  • Ibrahim, Nik Shamsidah Nik (Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA) ;
  • Ismail, Zaliha (Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA) ;
  • Majeed, Abu Bakar Abdul (Vice Chancellor Office, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Teknologi MARA)
  • Published : 2016.02.05


Background: A tobacco-free workplace policy is identified as an effective means to reduce tobacco use and protect people from second-hand smoke; however, the number of tobacco-free policies (TFP) remains very low in workplaces in Malaysia. This study explored the factors affecting support for a tobacco-free policy on two healthcare campuses in Malaysia, prior to the implementation of TFP. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 286 non-smokers from two healthcare training centres and two nearby colleges in Malaysia from January 2015 to April 2015. A standardized questionnaire was administered via staff and student emails. The questionnaire collected information on sociodemographic characteristics, support for a tobacco-free policy and perceived respiratory and sensory symptoms due to tobacco exposure. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the independent effects of supporting a tobacco-free campus. Results: The percentage of individuals supporting completely tobacco-free facilities was 83.2% (N=238), as opposed to 16.7% (N=48) in support of partially tobacco-free facilities. Compared to the supporters of partially tobacco-free facilities, non-smokers who supported completely tobacco-free health facilities were more likely to be female, have higher education levels, to be very concerned about the effects of other people smoking on their health and to perceive a tobacco-free policy as very important. In addition, they perceived that tobacco smoke bothered them at work by causing headaches and coughs and, in the past 4 weeks, had experienced difficulty breathing. In the multivariate model, after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and other factors, only experiencing coughs and headaches increased the odds of supporting a completely tobacco-free campus, up to 2.5- and 1.9-fold, respectively. Conclusions: Coughs and headaches due to other people smoking at work enhances support for a completely tobacco-free campus among non-smokers.


Tobacco policy;support;workplace;campus;non-smokers;Malaysia


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