(HealthDay News) — Efforts to increase awareness of smoke-free rules, including new signage, seem effective, according to research published online January 30 in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

Elizabeth Needham Waddel, PhD, from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and colleagues analyzed trends in awareness of existing smoke-free rules promoted through new signage. Three waves of survey data were evaluated from population-based samples of smoking and nonsmoking adults in New York City (2010–2012).

The researchers found that there was an increase in awareness among smokers and nonsmokers of smoke-free regulations in outdoor areas around hospital entrances/grounds and in lines in outdoor waiting areas for buses and taxis. Women, racial/ethnic minorities, and adults aged 25–44 years were more likely to support smoke-free air strategies, compared to men, non-Hispanic whites, and adults aged 65 years or older, regardless of smoking status.

“Our results show that local efforts to increase signage and educate the public were successful in increasing population-wide knowledge about smoke-free air rules in particular areas, especially among smokers,” the authors write. “Appropriate signage and education on these rules is important for increasing compliance and access to smoke-free air.”

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