Background Norway passed legislation banning smoking in restaurants, bars and other public spaces in 2004. This study tracks changes in hospitality workers' attitudes towards Norway's ban over three time points, using growth modelling analysis to examine predictors of attitude change.
Methods Participants were a national sample of 1525 bar and restaurant workers. Surveys were conducted, by phone or internet, one month before the ban's implementation and at 4 and 12 months thereafter. Exploratory principal components analysis of nine survey items revealed one primary attitude component. A latent growth model was fitted to the data to examine trajectories of attitude change and individual differences in rate of change.
Results Respondents supported the ban before implementation and increased support at 4 months (p=0.021) and again at 12 months (p=0.001). Concern for one's job followed a quadratic trend, increasing at 4 months and decreasing at 12 months (p<0.001). All demographic categories were associated with attitude increase; rate of increase was greater for females than males. Two within-person variables—change in smoking status and change in job concern—strongly predicted (p<0.001) respondents' deviations from their predicted group trajectories, explaining over 70% of residual between-person slope variance.
Conclusions Norway's hospitality workers increased their support of the ban over its first year. The strong influence of the within-person variables leads to two primary policy recommendations. First, support should be provided to assist cessation efforts and prevent relapse. Second, informational campaigns should inform hospitality workers about evidence that smoking bans are not economic threats to the industry.
- environmental tobacco smoke
- public opinion polls
- public policy
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Funding Norwegian Directorate of Health.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Regional Committee for Medical Research Ethics for Western Norway, University of Bergen Faculty of Medicine.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.