Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Over the past few years, many states have taken steps to ban smoking in public areas. The process of specific polices spreading across state lines is called policy diffusion. Statewide anti-indoor smoking bans are utilized to demonstrate what the most prevailing factors in policy diffusion are. A two-step approach to analysis is implemented, first looking only at simple policy adoption among the 50 states, and secondly the rate at which the policy expands across the country. A strong presence of local ordinances, nearby neighbors with statewide bans in effect, and a history of smoking preemption laws are found to be the most statistically significant of a list of variables. Because diffusion of this policy is entering its final stages, this research can be used as a reference for designing and implementing policy diffusion studies in the future.