The proposed research will consist of a descriptive study of the perceptions of public administrators regarding the regulation of cigarette smoking. Not only will public administrators' perceptions be collected, discussed, and interpreted, they will also be examined to determine whether they significantly differ as a function of differences in administrators ages, gender, yearly income, marital status and religion. Further, perceptions will be examined for differences depending upon whether or not the administrator is a smoker.
As noted by Mathre (1994), nicotine (the active ingredient in the tobacco plant) is one of the most toxic and most addictive drugs known to man. Regarding its toxicity, Mathre states that about one in every six deaths in the United States is due to cigarette smoking.
Moreover, while cigarette smoking in America has declined over the years, Mathre reports that national statistics show that this decline has only taken place among well-educated and white populations. Indeed, for women and adolescents, the figures may actually be increasing.
Public administrators are charged with the responsibility of planning, implementing and managing various anti-smoking campaigns. However, the question can be asked as to what their views are about cigarette smoking and efforts to decrease its use?
This foregoing question is greatly under-researched. In a search of several databases (EMBASE, PsychInfo, Dissertation Abstracts, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts), this researcher could find no studies that directly assessed the attitudes of public administrators regarding smoking and efforts to regulate the industry. Given that public administrators are the ones who will often be placed in charge of anti-smoking efforts and programs, especially those related to regulation of the industry (McVay, 1991), it seems important to determine the views of public administrators regarding these efforts.