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Opinion Barometer September 2008
Tobacco Use; Opinions on Harm and Smoking Prohibitions
Nearly all adult San Diegans consider tobacco use to be harmful and most (56%) regard it as extremely harmful. Tobacco users themselves are substantially less inclined to agree with that assessment, as only 20% see it as extremely harmful.
Tobacco Cessation Methods and On-line Support Groups
Nine percent of the adults in San Diego report that they are tobacco users. Of those tobacco users, 56% say that they have tried to quit the habit, so we are ultimately left with only 5% (n=23) who have tried but failed to kick their habit. We are therefore examining a very small sample from which to draw conclusions regarding obstacles to quitting the use of tobacco.
Most Internet users spend what can be considered a lot of time on it. Over an entire year, the average adult San Diegan spends more than a month’s worth of time on the Internet. The Internet’s sedentary nature could be contributing to higher levels of obesity, and the data suggests that such a problem is very likely to get worse. That is because usage levels are highly correlated with age. As younger generations of Internet users replace older generations of non-users, the sedentary lifestyle is liable to become the norm.
About the SDIPR/Competitive Edge Opinion Barometer
This survey was conducted by Competitive Edge Research & Communication (CERC) in conjunction with the San Diego Institute for Policy Research (SDIPR). SDIPR and CERC jointly determined the issues to be covered in this survey. SDIPR provided CERC with background information on the issues to be researched and both entities discussed the topics in order to produce an effective questionnaire. Final responsibility for all questions, the data collection and the analysis presented herein rests with CERC.
These findings are based on a random sample of 1000 County of San Diego residents. The interviewing was conducted March 1st through the 6th in English and Spanish from CERC’s San Diego facility. Professional interviewers were specifically trained for this project. The duration of the average interview was 16 minutes. The random digit dial sample was provided by Scientific Telephone Samples of Foothill Ranch, CA. After collecting the data, results were weighted on the voter registration, gender and age variables to CERC’s estimates of the overall San Diego County population gathered from the US Census and the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
According to statistical theory, the confidence level associated with a sample of this type is such that, with a question where the respondents answer 50% “yes” and 50% “no,” 95% of the time the results are within plus or minus 3.2% of the true value, where true value refers to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every possible qualified respondent. The degree of error is reduced when responses have larger (e.g. 60%-40%, 70%-30%) percentage differences. Conversely, the margin of error increases when a subset of the entire 1000 responses is analyzed.
In addition to error introduced by sampling variability, there are many other possible sources of bias such as how a question is worded, the question sequence, or individual interviewer techniques. Competitive Edge does everything in its power to minimize these potential sources of bias.
A survey of this type is a good measure of current attitudes that may change over time. This survey should not necessarily serve as an unqualified predictor of events, but, as an indicator to the situation in early March, 2007.
John Nienstedt 619-702-2372 x307