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Tob Control. 1999 Autumn;8(3):278-81.

Effect of smoke-free policies on the behaviour of social smokers.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test the hypothesis that proposed amendments to the Occupational Safety and Health Act making all enclosed workplaces in Western Australia smoke free would result in a decrease in cigarette consumption by patrons at nightclubs, pubs, and restaurants without adversely affecting attendance.

DESIGN:

Cross sectional structured interview survey.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING:

Patrons of several inner city pubs and nightclubs in Perth were interviewed while queuing for admission to these venues.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Current social habits, smoking habits; and how these might be affected by the proposed regulations. Persons who did not smoke daily were classified as "social smokers."

RESULTS:

Half (50%) of the 374 patrons interviewed were male, 51% currently did not smoke at all, 34.3% smoked every day, and the remaining 15.7% smoked, but not every day. A clear majority (62.5%) of all 374 respondents anticipated no change to the frequency of their patronage of hospitality venues if smoke-free policies became mandatory. One in five (19.3%) indicated that they would go out more often, and 18.2% said they would go out less often. Half (52%) of daily smokers anticipated no change to their cigarette consumption, while 44.5% of daily smokers anticipated a reduction in consumption. A majority of social smokers (54%) predicted a reduction in their cigarette consumption, with 42% of these anticipating quitting.

CONCLUSIONS:

One in nine (11.5%) of smokers say that adoption of smoke-free policies would prompt them to quit smoking entirely without a significant decrease in attendance at pubs and nightclubs. There can be few other initiatives as simple, cheap, and popular that would achieve so much for public health.

PMID:
10599572
PMCID:
PMC1763940
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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