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J Public Health Manag Pract. 2007 Nov-Dec;13(6):630-6.

The effects on smokers of Boston's smoke-free bar ordinance: a longitudinal analysis of changes in compliance, patronage, policy support, and smoking at home.

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Center for Survey Research, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA 02125, USA.



We prospectively examined effects of the implementation of a smoking ban in bars on Boston, Massachusetts, smokers.


A representative sample of Massachusetts smokers was interviewed before and after the smoking ban was implemented in Boston. Participants were adult smokers living in Boston (n = 83) and in 203 other Massachusetts cities and towns that did not adopt smoking bans in bars prior to July 2004 (n = 903). The outcome measures were changes in reports of smoking in bars, frequency of bar patronage, support for smoke-free bars, smoking at home, and exposure to secondhand smoke at home based on town of residence.


Compared to changes over the same time period among smokers in towns where smoking in bars was permitted, smokers in Boston were significantly less likely to observe smoking and less likely to decrease their bar patronage after the smoking ban was implemented. Changes in support for smoke-free bars, smoking patterns at home, and exposure to secondhand smoke at home did not differ between the groups.


Expectations about noncompliance, declines in patronage, and displacement of smoking to the home as a consequence of extending smoking restrictions to bars are not supported by the data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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