Newsprint coverage of smoking in cars carrying children

a case study of public and scientific opinion driving the policy debate

Shona Hilton, Karen Wood, Josh Bain, Chris Patterson, Sheila Duffy, Sean Semple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Media content has been shown to influence public understandings of second-hand smoke. Since 2007 there has been legislation prohibiting smoking in all enclosed public places throughout the United Kingdom (UK). In the intervening period, interest has grown in considering other policy interventions to further reduce the harms of second-hand smoke exposure. This study offers the first investigation into how the UK newsprint media are framing the current policy debate about the need for smoke-free laws to protect children from the harms of second-hand smoke exposure whilst in vehicles.

METHODS: Qualitative content analysis was conducted on relevant articles from six UK and three Scottish national newspapers. Articles published between 1st January 2004 and 16th February 2014 were identified using the electronic database Nexis UK. A total of 116 articles were eligible for detailed coding and analysis that focused on the harms of second-hand smoke exposure to children in vehicles.

RESULTS: Comparing the period of 2004-2007 and 2008-2014 there has been an approximately ten-fold increase in the number of articles reporting on the harms to children of second-hand smoke exposure in vehicles. Legislative action to prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying children was largely reported as necessary, enforceable and presented as having public support. It was commonly reported that whilst people were aware of the general harms associated with second-hand smoke, drivers were not sufficiently aware of how harmful smoking around children in the confined space of the vehicle could be.

CONCLUSIONS: The increased news reporting on the harms of second-hand smoke exposure to children in vehicles and recent policy debates indicate that scientific and public interest in this issue has grown over the past decade. Further, advocacy efforts might draw greater attention to the success of public-space smoke-free legislation which has promoted a change in attitudes, behaviours and social norms. Efforts might also specifically highlight the particular issue of children's developmental vulnerability to second-hand smoke exposure, the dangers posed by smoking in confined spaces such as vehicles, and the appropriate measures that should be taken to reduce the risk of harm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1116
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume14
Early online date29 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Tobacco Smoke Pollution
Public Opinion
Smoking
Confined Spaces
Legislation
Smoke
Newspapers
Databases
United Kingdom

Cite this

Newsprint coverage of smoking in cars carrying children : a case study of public and scientific opinion driving the policy debate. / Hilton, Shona; Wood, Karen; Bain, Josh; Patterson, Chris; Duffy, Sheila; Semple, Sean.

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 14, 1116, 2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hilton, Shona ; Wood, Karen ; Bain, Josh ; Patterson, Chris ; Duffy, Sheila ; Semple, Sean. / Newsprint coverage of smoking in cars carrying children : a case study of public and scientific opinion driving the policy debate. In: BMC Public Health. 2014 ; Vol. 14.
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title = "Newsprint coverage of smoking in cars carrying children: a case study of public and scientific opinion driving the policy debate",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Media content has been shown to influence public understandings of second-hand smoke. Since 2007 there has been legislation prohibiting smoking in all enclosed public places throughout the United Kingdom (UK). In the intervening period, interest has grown in considering other policy interventions to further reduce the harms of second-hand smoke exposure. This study offers the first investigation into how the UK newsprint media are framing the current policy debate about the need for smoke-free laws to protect children from the harms of second-hand smoke exposure whilst in vehicles.METHODS: Qualitative content analysis was conducted on relevant articles from six UK and three Scottish national newspapers. Articles published between 1st January 2004 and 16th February 2014 were identified using the electronic database Nexis UK. A total of 116 articles were eligible for detailed coding and analysis that focused on the harms of second-hand smoke exposure to children in vehicles.RESULTS: Comparing the period of 2004-2007 and 2008-2014 there has been an approximately ten-fold increase in the number of articles reporting on the harms to children of second-hand smoke exposure in vehicles. Legislative action to prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying children was largely reported as necessary, enforceable and presented as having public support. It was commonly reported that whilst people were aware of the general harms associated with second-hand smoke, drivers were not sufficiently aware of how harmful smoking around children in the confined space of the vehicle could be.CONCLUSIONS: The increased news reporting on the harms of second-hand smoke exposure to children in vehicles and recent policy debates indicate that scientific and public interest in this issue has grown over the past decade. Further, advocacy efforts might draw greater attention to the success of public-space smoke-free legislation which has promoted a change in attitudes, behaviours and social norms. Efforts might also specifically highlight the particular issue of children's developmental vulnerability to second-hand smoke exposure, the dangers posed by smoking in confined spaces such as vehicles, and the appropriate measures that should be taken to reduce the risk of harm.",
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note = "Acknowledgements Date of Acceptance:17/10/2014 Acknowledgements: This project was funded by Cancer Research UK (MC_U130085862) and the Scottish School of Public Health Research. Cancer Research UK and the Scottish School of Public Health Research was not involved in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, writing of the manuscript or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. Shona Hilton, Karen Wood, Josh Bain and Chris Patterson are funded by the UK Medical Research Council as part of the Understandings and Uses of Public Health Research programme (MC_UU_12017/6) at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow. We thank Alan Pollock who provided assistance with coding.",
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AU - Hilton, Shona

AU - Wood, Karen

AU - Bain, Josh

AU - Patterson, Chris

AU - Duffy, Sheila

AU - Semple, Sean

N1 - Acknowledgements Date of Acceptance:17/10/2014 Acknowledgements: This project was funded by Cancer Research UK (MC_U130085862) and the Scottish School of Public Health Research. Cancer Research UK and the Scottish School of Public Health Research was not involved in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, writing of the manuscript or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. Shona Hilton, Karen Wood, Josh Bain and Chris Patterson are funded by the UK Medical Research Council as part of the Understandings and Uses of Public Health Research programme (MC_UU_12017/6) at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow. We thank Alan Pollock who provided assistance with coding.

PY - 2014

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N2 - BACKGROUND: Media content has been shown to influence public understandings of second-hand smoke. Since 2007 there has been legislation prohibiting smoking in all enclosed public places throughout the United Kingdom (UK). In the intervening period, interest has grown in considering other policy interventions to further reduce the harms of second-hand smoke exposure. This study offers the first investigation into how the UK newsprint media are framing the current policy debate about the need for smoke-free laws to protect children from the harms of second-hand smoke exposure whilst in vehicles.METHODS: Qualitative content analysis was conducted on relevant articles from six UK and three Scottish national newspapers. Articles published between 1st January 2004 and 16th February 2014 were identified using the electronic database Nexis UK. A total of 116 articles were eligible for detailed coding and analysis that focused on the harms of second-hand smoke exposure to children in vehicles.RESULTS: Comparing the period of 2004-2007 and 2008-2014 there has been an approximately ten-fold increase in the number of articles reporting on the harms to children of second-hand smoke exposure in vehicles. Legislative action to prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying children was largely reported as necessary, enforceable and presented as having public support. It was commonly reported that whilst people were aware of the general harms associated with second-hand smoke, drivers were not sufficiently aware of how harmful smoking around children in the confined space of the vehicle could be.CONCLUSIONS: The increased news reporting on the harms of second-hand smoke exposure to children in vehicles and recent policy debates indicate that scientific and public interest in this issue has grown over the past decade. Further, advocacy efforts might draw greater attention to the success of public-space smoke-free legislation which has promoted a change in attitudes, behaviours and social norms. Efforts might also specifically highlight the particular issue of children's developmental vulnerability to second-hand smoke exposure, the dangers posed by smoking in confined spaces such as vehicles, and the appropriate measures that should be taken to reduce the risk of harm.

AB - BACKGROUND: Media content has been shown to influence public understandings of second-hand smoke. Since 2007 there has been legislation prohibiting smoking in all enclosed public places throughout the United Kingdom (UK). In the intervening period, interest has grown in considering other policy interventions to further reduce the harms of second-hand smoke exposure. This study offers the first investigation into how the UK newsprint media are framing the current policy debate about the need for smoke-free laws to protect children from the harms of second-hand smoke exposure whilst in vehicles.METHODS: Qualitative content analysis was conducted on relevant articles from six UK and three Scottish national newspapers. Articles published between 1st January 2004 and 16th February 2014 were identified using the electronic database Nexis UK. A total of 116 articles were eligible for detailed coding and analysis that focused on the harms of second-hand smoke exposure to children in vehicles.RESULTS: Comparing the period of 2004-2007 and 2008-2014 there has been an approximately ten-fold increase in the number of articles reporting on the harms to children of second-hand smoke exposure in vehicles. Legislative action to prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying children was largely reported as necessary, enforceable and presented as having public support. It was commonly reported that whilst people were aware of the general harms associated with second-hand smoke, drivers were not sufficiently aware of how harmful smoking around children in the confined space of the vehicle could be.CONCLUSIONS: The increased news reporting on the harms of second-hand smoke exposure to children in vehicles and recent policy debates indicate that scientific and public interest in this issue has grown over the past decade. Further, advocacy efforts might draw greater attention to the success of public-space smoke-free legislation which has promoted a change in attitudes, behaviours and social norms. Efforts might also specifically highlight the particular issue of children's developmental vulnerability to second-hand smoke exposure, the dangers posed by smoking in confined spaces such as vehicles, and the appropriate measures that should be taken to reduce the risk of harm.

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DO - 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1116

M3 - Article

VL - 14

JO - BMC Public Health

JF - BMC Public Health

SN - 1471-2458

M1 - 1116

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