Legislative measures restricting cigarette smoking have the potential to influence whether a person begins or continues to smoke and to affect the impact of passive smoking. We surveyed a representative sample of the adult population in Ontario on their knowledge of existing legislation and of the adverse effects of primary and secondary smoking on health. We also assessed their attitudes toward a range of restrictions and changes in legislation as well as their views on the enactment and enforcement of such legislation. This paper reports on the sample design, methods, response rates, and representativeness of the respondents. We used a three-stage stratified cluster design, covering both urban areas (with or without existing smoking bylaws) and rural areas and incorporating telephone interviews using random-digit dialing. The total number of respondents was 1,383, for an overall response rate of 67.5 percent. Despite attempts to ensure anonymity and to convey the importance of participation, we did not achieve total representativeness in sex ratio, age distribution, and certain educational and occupational categories. A companion paper reports on the population estimates of the variables under study.