Tobacco smoking policies in Australian alcohol and other drug treatment services, agreement between staff awareness and the written policy document

Eliza Skelton, Billie Bonevski, Flora Tzelepis, Anthony Shakeshaft, Ashleigh Guillaumier, Adrian Dunlop, Sam McCrabb, Kerrin Palazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Comprehensive smoke-free policy in the alcohol and other drug (AOD) setting provides an opportunity to reduce tobacco related harms among clients and staff. This study aimed to examine within AOD services: staff awareness of their service's smoking policy compared to the written policy document and staff and service factors associated with accurate awareness of a total ban and perceived enforcement of a total ban. Methods: An audit of written tobacco smoking policy documents and an online cross-sectional survey of staff from 31 Australian AOD services. In addition, a contact at each service was interviewed to gather service-related data. Results: Overall, 506 staff participated in the survey (response rate: 57%). Nearly half (46%) perceived their service had a total ban with 54% indicating that this policy was always enforced. Over one-third (37%) reported a partial ban with 48% indicating that this policy was always enforced. The audit of written policies revealed that 19 (61%) services had total bans, 11 (36%) had partial bans and 1 (3%) did not have a written smoking policy. Agreement between staff policy awareness and their service's written policy was moderate (Kappa 0.48) for a total ban and fair (Kappa 0.38) for a partial ban. Age (1 year increase) of staff was associated with higher odds of correctly identifying a total ban at their service. Conclusions: Tobacco smoking within Australian AOD services is mostly regulated by a written policy document. Staff policy awareness was modest and perceived policy enforcement was poor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol and other drug treatment
  • Enforcement
  • Policy
  • Smoke-free
  • Tobacco smoking

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