Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Support for and reported compliance with smoke-free restaurants and bars by smokers in four countries: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey
  1. R Borland1,
  2. H-H Yong1,
  3. M Siahpush1,
  4. A Hyland2,
  5. S Campbell3,
  6. G Hastings4,
  7. K M Cummings2,
  8. G T Fong5
  1. 1The Cancer Council Victoria, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA
  3. 3Centre for Behavioral Research and Program Evaluation, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4University of Stirling, and The Open University, UK
  5. 5Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Canada
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Ron Borland
 Cancer Control Research Institute, The Cancer Council Victoria, 1 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia; ron.borland{at}


Objective: To explore determinants of support for and reported compliance with smoke-free policies in restaurants and bars across the four countries of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey.

Design: Separate telephone cross-sectional surveys conducted between October and December 2002 with broadly representative samples of over 2000 adult (⩾ 18 years) cigarette smokers in each of the following four countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Outcome measures: Support for smoke-free policies in restaurants and pubs/bars and reported compliance with existing policies.

Results: Reported total bans on indoor smoking in restaurants varied from 62% in Australia to 5% in the UK. Smoking bans in bars were less common, with California in the USA being the only major part of any country with documented bans. Support for bans in both restaurants and bars was related to the existence of bans, beliefs about passive smoking being harmful, lower average cigarette consumption, and older age. Self-reported compliance with a smoking ban was generally high and was associated with greater support for the ban.

Conclusions: Among current cigarette smokers, support for smoking bans was associated with living in a place where the law prohibits smoking. Smokers adjust and both accept and comply with smoke-free laws. Associates of support and compliance are remarkably similar across countries given the notably different levels of smoke-free policies.

  • attitudes
  • compliance
  • environmental tobacco smoke
  • restrictions
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Ethics approval: The study protocol was cleared for ethics by the Institutional Review Boards or Research Ethics Boards in each of the countries: the University of Waterloo (Canada), Roswell Park Cancer Institute (USA), the University of Illinois-Chicago (USA), the University of Strathclyde (UK), and The Cancer Council Victoria (Australia).

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.