Has the ban on smoking in New South Wales restaurants worked? A comparison of restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne

Chapman, Simon, Borland, Ron and Lal, Anita 2001, Has the ban on smoking in New South Wales restaurants worked? A comparison of restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, Medical journal of Australia, vol. 174, no. 10, pp. 512-515.

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Title Has the ban on smoking in New South Wales restaurants worked? A comparison of restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne
Author(s) Chapman, Simon
Borland, Ron
Lal, Anita
Journal name Medical journal of Australia
Volume number 174
Issue number 10
Start page 512
End page 515
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2001-05-21
ISSN 0025-729X
1326-5377
Summary Objective: To evaluate compliance with a legislative ban on smoking inside restaurants by comparing smoking in Sydney restaurants (where it is legally banned) with smoking in Melbourne restaurants (not subject to a legal ban).

Design and participants: Unobtrusive observational study of restaurant patrons, and interviews with restaurant staff, carried out by 159 volunteers.

Setting:
78 Sydney restaurants with smoke-free indoor environments (as required by legislation) and 81 Melbourne restaurants not subject to legislation preventing smoking. The study took place from 20-31 October 2000.

Intervention: Legislation to ban smoking in indoor areas of restaurants was introduced in New South Wales in September 2000 (about six weeks before our study).

Outcomes: Observed incidents of smoking inside restaurants; staff attitudes to the ban; customer satisfaction as indicated by comments to staff; staff perceptions of restaurant patronage.

Results:
No restaurant patrons were seen smoking in 78 Sydney restaurants during 156 hours of observation of 2646 diners, compared with 176 smokers among 3014 Melbourne diners over 154 hours of observation. Thirty-one per cent (24/78) of Sydney restaurants had experienced smokers attempting to smoke indoors after the legislation was introduced; 6% (5/78) reported instances of smokers refusing to stop smoking when asked; 79% (62/78) of restaurants had received favourable comments from patrons about the smoke-free law; 81% (63/78) of restaurant staff interviewed either supported or strongly supported the law. Since introduction of the legislation, 76% of restaurants reported normal trade, 14% increased trade, and 9% reduced trade.

Conclusions:
Smoke-free restaurants do not require "smoking police" to enforce bans, present few ongoing difficulties for staff, attract many more favourable than unfavourable comments from patrons, and do not adversely affect trade.
Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2001, MJA
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020872

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Public Health Research, Evaluation, and Policy Cluster
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