International Tobacco Control UK Scotland Study (ITC Study)

A quasi-experimental cohort study of observed and self-reported smoking behaviour and quit attempts, attitudes towards and compliance with legislation, and social norms, in comparison with the rest of the UK.

A collaboration between: the Centre for Tobacco Control Research, The University of Stirling and The Open University, and the Roswell Cancer Institute of New York.

Principal Investigator: Professor Gerard Hastings

Study Aims

  • Determine changes in smokers´ and non-smokers´ attitudinal and behavioural responses to smoke-free legislation in Scotland.

Study Design

  • Quasi-experimental cohort study of adult smokers and non-smokers in Scotland and the rest of the UK, in which respondents from the rest of the UK were used as controls.
  • A probability sample of smokers was recruited pre-legislation in February-March 2006 to participate in a telephone survey. The cohort was followed up one year later in February-March 2007. The survey was based on the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Project.
  • Outcome measures included: observed smoking behaviour in private and public places; self-reported smoking behaviour and quit attempts in smokers; attitudes towards and compliance with legislation; social norms about smoking.

Research Instruments & Protocols

  • Phase 1: Baseline survey (Feb-Mar 2006)
  • Phase 2: Follow-up survey (Feb-Mar 2007)

Main Outcomes

  • There was a much larger reduction at follow-up in observed smoking in public places (pubs, restaurants, and workplaces) for the Scottish sample compared with the sample for the rest of the UK.
  • Support for the smoke-free legislation increased more over the study period among the Scottish sample than in the sample for the rest of the UK.
  • However, no differences in smoking cessation indicators were observed between countries.
  • Self-reported frequency of visits to pubs and restaurants were comparable in Scotland and the rest of the UK. However, post-legislation, non-smokers in Scotland were more likely to frequent pubs more often then non-smokers from the rest of the UK.
  • The change in the proportion of smokers reporting a smoke-free home, and number of cigarettes smoked inside the home in the evening, was comparable in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
  • There was no evidence of displacement of smoking from pubs to the home.

Find publications from the ITC study

Updated 17th July 2014

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