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Diffusion of smoking bans in Europe

My paper on the diffusion of smoking bans in Europe has been accepted in Public Administration. It probably won’t be published until next year so here is a link to the pre-print and a graph of two of the important results of the paper: the probability of enactment of a more comprehensive (full) smoking ban increases with lower levels of tobacco producton and with rising levels of public support for smoking restrictions:

  And the abstract:

Policy Making Beyond Political Ideology: The Adoption of Smoking Bans in Europe

Policy making is embedded in politics, but an increasing number of issues, like obesity, tobacco control, or road safety, do not map well on the major dimensions of political conflict. This article analyzes the enactment of restrictions on smoking in bars and restaurants in 29 European countries – a conflictual issue which does not fit easily traditional party ideologies. Indeed, the comparative empirical analyses demonstrate that government ideological positions are not associated with the strictness and the timing of adoption of the smoking bans. On the other hand, economic factors like the scale of tobacco production in a country, smoking prevalence in society and public support for tough anti-smoking policy are all significantly related to the time it takes for a country to adopt smoking bans, and to the comprehensiveness and enforcement of these restrictions. In addition, horizontal policy diffusion is strongly implicated in the pattern of policy adoptions.  

Published inPolicy implementationPolicy makingPublic opinion


  1. kin_free

    I have only briefly looked at your paper Dimiter, and one factor you have omitted jumps out immediately. The fact that you have not taken into account the probability that anti-tobacco propaganda will eventually fail and that the general public will eventually see through what is undoubtedly the biggest deception, using pseudo and fraudulent science, in modern times.

    I suggest that failure is inevitable as such propaganda requires ever greater sums of money to maintain – pseudo science requires more and more pseudo science to ‘maintain the initiative’ together with more and more ‘public education’ to support it. ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive’! One small deception requires a bigger deception to cover the first, then another and another, escalating until it becomes so absurd as to be obvious to even the most gullible. While the tobacco control industry is presently bursting with funds provided by and to those with vested interest, this can only temporary – with every financial ‘boom’, there always follows a financial ‘bust’!

    You seem to accept without question that; “smoking is a major source of hospitalizations and treatment of the various diseases induced by smoking contributes to the rising health care costs…” and link to an ETS ‘costs study’ that also accepts the false conclusion that ETS is harmful and uses incorrect computer generated statistics to produce even more incorrect statistics that inevitably produce incorrect conclusions and totally unrealistic (fantasy) ‘costs’. This is what could be referred to as ‘ error cascade’ or ‘information cascade’.

    The ETS deception is one that is now obvious to anyone who takes the trouble to look into the ‘science’ that allegedly proves it, yet still we hear ‘the debate is over, SHS is harmful’. This is obviously an extension of the very successful original; ‘the debate is over, smoking kills’ slogan. The reason why smoke bans have been successful is because this was believed and all the sanctions that you mention (and more) were imposed as a result. The ‘debate is over’ re. ETS, is a fallacious claim that the tobacco control industry is now committed to maintain, regardless as to what opposition and evidence they face. This must unavoidably call into question the earlier first hand smoke claim, and rightly so.

    The anti-smoker template is now being rolled out to adversely effect more individual liberties and produce more money-making scams – these will also fail, just as the rapid ascendancy of alcohol prohibition, failed just as rapidly a century ago. The graphs you provide are only relevant, I would suggest, if the present tobacco control deception remains intact.

    Kin Free

  2. Kin Free – he wouldn’t address such points in a scientific paper. They are more suited to Twitter where you can say what you like without evidence.

  3. kin_free

    Qualifier; “Do not accept them at face value – they do lie you know!”

    Not altogether true – Only SOME lie, others just innocently repeat the lies. Gullibility, ease of conditioning and/or abnegation is quite common within the ranks of the tobacco CONTROL industry.

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