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A Content Analysis of Media Coverage of the Introduction of a Smoke-Free Bylaw in Vancouver Parks and Beaches

Authors
Publisher
MDPI
Publication Date
Volume
10
Issue
9
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph10094444
Keywords
  • Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

The Board of Parks and Recreation in Vancouver, BC approved a smoke-free bylaw in the city’s parks, beaches and recreational facilities, effective 1 September 2010. We analyzed local news coverage and portrayal of the bylaw to understand the potential influence of news media on public perception of the bylaw in order to inform the media advocacy work of public health interest groups. We compiled a data set of newspaper articles (n = 90) and conducted a quantitative content analysis to examine content related to the outdoor smoke-free policy, including article slant, topics related to smoking and tobacco control, and any equity-related concerns raised. Newspaper coverage in Vancouver was largely supportive of the outdoor smoke-free bylaw. However, concerns over rights were frequently discussed in letters to the editor. Such equity concerns were rarely discussed in news articles, showing a potential disconnect between the concerns expressed in the media by members of the public and the coverage provided by print media.

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