The study was conducted in 37 rural Kentucky counties that were randomly selected from those without smoking ordinances or regulations. Nineteen of the communities received policy-intervention strategies, tailored to their readiness, from a trained community adviser. The remaining 18 were used for comparison. Data were collected annually and policy outcomes were tracked over five years.
Nearly one-third of the counties that were the target of interventions adopted smoking bans covering restaurants, bars, and all workplaces, while none of the comparison counties did.
Rural, tobacco-growing areas were chosen because they are “disproportionately affected by tobacco use, secondhand smoke, and weak tobacco control policies,” Hahn writes in the study, “A Controlled Community-Based Trial to Promote Smoke-Free Policy in Rural Communities.”