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Talking Tobacco

Interpersonal, Organizational, and Mediated Messages


Edited By Stuart L. Esrock, Kandi L. Walker and Joy L. Hart

Despite the widely recognized toll of tobacco and increasing action to curb tobacco use (e.g., increased excise taxes, smoking bans), smoking continues. Numerous messages about tobacco, smoking, and health circulate throughout society, but in spite of the prevalence of such messages and the importance of how they are constructed and interpreted, too little communication research has been dedicated to understanding and assessing tobacco-related messages. Talking Tobacco addresses the shortcoming. Featuring the work of top communication scholars, the volume advances theoretical knowledge, reviews state-of-the-art research, and shares new findings and insights on a variety of tobacco-related areas ranging from tobacco control efforts to corporate representations.
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11 Claiming a Right to Clean, Breathable Air: A Content Analysis of Newspaper Coverage of the Comprehensive Clean Indoor Air Debate in Ohio Benjamin R. Bates, Margaret M. Quinlan, and Brian L. Quick


On November 7, 2006, voters in Ohio were asked to vote on two ballot measures restricting smoking in indoor public areas. Issue 4, a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution dubbed “Smoke-Less Ohio,” would have eliminated smoking in most indoor public areas except for bars, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and designated areas of restaurants. Issue 5, a ballot initiative called “Smoke Free Ohio,” was a comprehensive clean indoor air ordinance that would eliminate smoking in all indoor public areas.

Although there is a long history of partial clean indoor air legislation that allows smoking in designated sections of restaurants and in bars, comprehensive clean indoor air policy like the Ohio proposals is a recent phenomenon. In 2002, Ireland became the first nation to adopt comprehensive clean indoor air, and, since then, 80% of all European nations have modeled Ireland’s policy (McElvaney, 2004). Comprehensive clean indoor air policy is also becoming more common in Africa, Asia, and South America (Rivero et al., 2006). Although comprehensive clean indoor air legislation reduces exposure to secondhand smoke and this decrease in exposure has clear health advantages (Abrams et al., 2006; McMullen, Brownson, Luke, & Chriqui, 2005), most states in the United States have only partial, noncomprehensive clean indoor air laws, and some states lack clean indoor air statutes of any kind (American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, 2010).

Against this backdrop in the 2006 election, Ohio voters failed to approve Issue 4 (36% to 64%), but approved Issue 5 (59% to 41%)...

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