Objective To assess the national level of compliance with the Chilean comprehensive smoke-free legislation by observing healthcare facilities, education centres, government offices, hospitality venues and private workplaces, by type of area within workplaces and public places: enclosed, semiopen and open.
Methodology In this cross-sectional observational study, we studied a national representative sample of 3253 venues obtained through a two-stage cluster sampling design. First, 57 municipalities were randomly selected, proportionally to the total number of venues of interest. Second, within each selected municipality, a maximum of 12 venues of each sector was selected systematically from a list of existing sites. We determined the non-compliance level by estimating the percentage of the visited venues where smoking was observed or suspected in banned areas of the premises.
Results Smoking or suspicion thereof was not observed in any enclosed area of any establishment. However, smoking violations were observed in semiopen areas ranging from less than 0.5% of schools and healthcare centres to around 10% of hospitality venues or 23.0% of higher education centres. Smoking violations were also observed in outdoor areas of 6.7% and 1.6% of the health centres and schools, respectively.
Discussion The stark contrast in compliance with the smoking ban between the enclosed areas and the semiopen areas may be a consequence of the complex definition of semiopen areas in the regulations. The study also reflects the need to improve the overall enforcement of the smoke-free law, particularly in universities and hospitality venues.
- secondhand smoke
- public policy
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Contributors AP, XM and XA designed the study. XM was responsible for collecting the data. ID and IM performed the analysis. AP, XM, AO, MH and CG took part in the drafting of the manuscript. All the authors participated in the revising of the manuscript critically for valuable intellectual content and gave final approval of the version to be published. AP is the guarantor.
Funding The Bloomberg Initiative funded this study through a grant from the World Health Organization.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.