OBJECTIVES To determine compliance with a voluntary code of practice (VCP) for restricting smoking in restaurants and to canvass the attitudes of restaurateurs towards tougher smoking restrictions.
DESIGN Cross-sectional survey conducted in 1996 using a telephone questionnaire.
SETTING Metropolitan restaurants and cafés in Adelaide, South Australia.
PARTICIPANTS 276 (86.8%) of a sample of randomly selected owners and managers.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Restaurant non-smoking policies, reported and anticipated change in business, and restaurateurs’ attitudes towards smoking restrictions.
RESULTS 26.8% of restaurants had a total smoking ban; 40.6% restricted smoking some other way; and 32.6% permitted unrestricted smoking. Only 15.1% of restaurants with a ban or restrictions had used the VCP to guide the development of their policy, and only half of these were complying with it. Although 78.4% of those with bans and 84.4% of those with restrictions reported that their non-smoking policy had been associated with either no change or a gain in business, only 33.3% of those allowing unrestricted smoking expected that this would be the case, if they were to limit smoking. A total of 50.4% of restaurateurs, including 45.3% of those with no restrictions, agreed that the government should ban smoking in all restaurants.
CONCLUSIONS The VCP made an insignificant contribution to adoption of non-smoking policies, and compliance with the code was poor. Despite concerns about loss of business, there was considerable support for legislation which would ban smoking in all dining establishments.
- smoking restrictions
- environmental tobacco smoke
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