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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Mississippi Social Climate of Tobacco Control, 2000-2001

  • Author(s): McMillen, Robert C, PhD
  • Frese, Wolfgang
  • Cosby, Arthur G
  • et al.

The Social Climate Survey provides a method

to monitor changes in social and environmental

objectives, as well as an institutional framework

to organize and interpret these results.

This approach operationalizes the concept of

social climate into a set of quantifiable social

and environmental indicators - organized within

an institutional framework. Social scientists

typically conceptualize societal changes as

occurring through changes in social institutions,

such as the family, school, work place,

and government. As a fundamental component

of a society, these social institutions emerge as

clusterings of beliefs, norms, and practices.

Moreover, beliefs, norms, and practices about

tobacco use and tobacco control have evolved

in each of these institutional areas which then

shape the status of tobacco use in the social

fabric of American society. The Social

Climate Survey consists of a set of questions

designed to measure the norms, practices, and

beliefs concerning tobacco within each of the

following institutions; 1) Family and Friendship

Groups, 2) Education, 3) Government and

Political Order, 4) Work, 5) Health and Medical

Care, 6) Recreation, Leisure, and Sports, and 7)

Mass Communication and Culture.

Tobacco control and tobacco use is not carried

out in a vacuum. Youth and adults make

choices about tobacco use in the social context

of institutional beliefs, norms, and practices.

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