A critical analysis of smokers' behaviour in a designated non-smoking area : a case study of the MTB coffee shop, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Issock Issock, Paul Blaise.
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A constant exposure to Second-hand smoke (SHS) is a significant public health problem. The Howard College campus, one of the five campuses of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa, has been lethargic in pursuing compliance in designated non-smoking spaces. The single coffee shop serving all students in the Howard College Campus was not only one of the most crowded eating-places in this campus, but also amongst the areas where smoking occurred the most, notwithstanding the no-smoking signs. In addressing non-compliance, this thesis investigates smokers’ illegal behaviour at the coffee shop. This enquiry involved the following main questions: Why do faculty and students smoke at the coffee shop even though it is a designated non-smoking area? How should the University effectively proceed to tackle smokers’ behaviour in designated non-smoking areas? Participant observation enabled the researcher to examine and describe smoking behaviour. Semi-structured interviews with twenty smokers and nine non-smokers provided insight into forces upholding the smoking habit. The Social Ecological Model that incorporates intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, institutional and policy level of analysis was applied. Findings highlighted: i) the lack of law enforcement as the key reason for non-compliance; ii) peer-pressure exerted by smokers; iii) lack of designated smoking area; iv) claims that smoking and socialisation enable de-stressing and v) An urgent need to rethink how to provide places where students can socialise in an organic manner.