Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Tobacco-Free Executive Order on Employee Tobacco Use

Ellen J. Hahn, Melinda J. Ickes, Amanda Wiggins, Mary Kay Rayens, Bradley J. Polivka, Emily Whelan Parento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Smoke-free workplace policies encourage cessation, reduce tobacco consumption, and shift the pro-tobacco norm. However, no research exists evaluating the impact of mandated tobacco-free policies on government property. The purpose of our study was to examine short- and long-term effects of a tobacco-free policy (executive order 2014-747) implemented in November 2014, prohibiting tobacco use on state executive property. Cross-sectional online surveys were administered at two time points to a total of 27,000 employees of the executive branch of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The short-term evaluation (March 2015) comprised 4,170 employees and the long term (August 2015) included 3,070. Tobacco use, plans to quit using tobacco, personal characteristics, whether the county of their workplace was covered by a smoke-free policy, and social norms for tobacco use were assessed 4- and 9-month post-policy implementation. Current tobacco use and plans to quit were compared between short- and long-term evaluations using multiple logistic regression with relevant covariates included. Controlling for demographics and employment location, employees reported lower rates of tobacco use and higher rates of planning to quit in the long term than in the short term. Tobacco-free policies reduce tobacco use prevalence and promote plans to quit, particularly over time. We found differences in tobacco use prevalence and plans to quit using tobacco products from 4 to 9 months after the policy took effect, as reported by employees following implementation of the tobacco-free policy. These findings support the potential for avoiding long-term health care costs as a result of reduced tobacco use from these policies. Nurses can play an important advocacy and policy evaluation role to promote and assess the impact of tobacco-free policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalPolicy, Politics, and Nursing Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported through a contract between the Kentucky Department for Public Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program and the University of Kentucky Research Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • government
  • policy
  • smoke-free
  • tobacco use
  • workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


Dive into the research topics of 'Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Tobacco-Free Executive Order on Employee Tobacco Use'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this