Assertive communication about others’ smoking and vaping in public venues: Results from a National Survey of US adults

Cabral A. Bigman, Susan Mello, Ashley Sanders-Jackson, Andy S.L. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This study describes prevalence and correlates of US adults’ intentions to engage in assertive communication (i.e., speak up) about others’ smoking and vaping in public venues. Methods: Participants from a nationally representative online survey of 1551 US adults conducted October–December 2013 reported intentions to ask others not to smoke/vape in three types of public venues (restaurants, bars/casinos/nightclubs, and parks). We examined weighted prevalence of intentions and conducted weighted logistic regression. Results: Fifty-two percent of participants reported being likely to ask someone not to smoke in at least one venue compared with 19% for vaping. Assertive communication intentions for smoking in restaurants (48%), bars/casinos/nightclubs (35%), and parks (32%) were higher than for vaping (16%, 14%, and 12%, respectively). Significant correlates of assertive communication intentions in one or more venues were current smoking status, ever trying e-cigarettes, gender, age, health status, political ideology, and party identification. Conclusions: US adults were more willing to ask others not to smoke than vape. Intentions to speak up about smoking and vaping differed by venue, demographics, and cigarette/e-cigarette use. These findings help establish an evidence base to inform policymakers in developing strategies to promote compliance with smoke-free and vape-free laws.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-199
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Assertiveness
  • Health communication
  • Secondhand smoking
  • Smoking
  • Vaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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