Associated Press

SMOKE-FREE ALLIES: The strongest American advocates for smoking bans in public venues are the newest Americans, one study said.

Immigrants and their children were most likely to approve of smoke-free spaces, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Census' Current Population Survey from 1995-2002.

Over those years, 75.7 percent of foreign-born U.S. residents supported a smoking ban in at least four different types of public space, while 59.1 percent of U.S.-born Americans with U.S.-born parents did so. Of the total population, 61.6 percent said they would support a ban in at least four of the six public venues listed, which included bars, restaurants, offices, hospitals, and indoors sports venues and shopping malls.

Americans overall have become increasingly likely to support smoking bans in public places.

"It is surprising that most of the immigrants had stronger attitudes," said study author Theresa Osypuk. But immigrants were much less likely to be smokers than U.S.-born residents, she said. According to the World Health Organization, smoking is more prevalent in the U.S. than in most of Africa; southeast Asia, excluding Indonesia; and Latin America -- including Mexico. Mexico is the most common country of origin for foreign-born Americans.

Smokers were less likely to favor bans on smoking.

It's also possible that immigrants were more often in smoke-heavy environments than U.S.-born residents because of their occupations or where they spent their free time, Osypuk said, and so supported a ban on smoking.

The report will be in the January issue of the "American Journal of Public Health."


RACE-BASED HIRING: Managers' race has had a "significant" effect on the race of employees, according to a study of personnel data from a U.S. retailer over 30 months.

The study looked at whether the race of a store's manager affected that of the employees hired at the store. The most significant tendency, the study said, was that white, Hispanic or Asian managers tended to hire fewer African-Americans than African-American managers did.

The study tracked about 100,000 employees at more than 700 stores belonging to one, unidentified chain from February 1996 to July 1998.

The report found that replacing an African-American manager with a white, Hispanic or Asian manager resulted in the hiring of fewer African-American employees. The percentage of new workers who were African-American under the non-black managers dropped to 17 percent. Under the previous African-American manager, newly hired employees had been 21 percent black.

The region and ethnic makeup of the community that a store was in affected hiring as well, the report found. For example, in the South, replacing an African-American manager with a non-black manager led to a bigger drop in the proportion of African-Americans among new employees than in the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, in regions that were at least 30 percent Hispanic, the study said the proportion of new workers who were Hispanic dropped from 59 percent to 48 percent after a white manager took over from a Hispanic boss. The share of employees hired on who were white increased.

The reason behind the racial pattern in hiring was unclear, the authors said. One explanation could be the effect of "social networks": Managers tended to hire people who lived near them. If the managers lived in segregated neighborhoods, that would affect hiring.

The study also found that white employees were more likely to quit their jobs if an African-American manager replaced a non-black manager.

"Manager Race and the Race of New Hires," by Laura Giuliano, David Levine and Jonathan Leonard, was in the October issue of the "Journal of Labor Economics."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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