Phased in smoke-free workplace laws: Impact in grass-roots pubs and clubs in South Australia

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Issue addressed: Smoke-free workplace laws with phase-in provisions for licensed bar and gaming venues are being rolled-out across Australia. This study investigates grass-roots industry reactions after the first phase of implementation in South Australia and compares them with views of patrons who smoke. Methods: Two surveys were conducted with bar and club managers of randomly selected licensed venues in South Australia. The first survey (baseline) was conducted in November 2004 (n=500; by telephone). The second survey (phase 1) was conducted in May 2005 (n=357; in person including site inspection). Community support was assessed in a telephone survey conducted in 2005 (n=2,004). Results: In 2005, more than half supported the smoking bans planned for 2007 and up to 75% supported the phase-in provisions (for 2005-07). By 2005, 90.7% recognised it was important to provide a smoke-free environment for staff, but one-third were under the mistaken impression that phase-in measures offered health protection. Attempted compliance was very high and, for most, not an effort or financial burden. Verified compliance was fair, although lower than self-report due to confusion about rules for smoking and non-smoking areas. When the views of bar and club managers were compared with community views, collected in a separate survey, it was found that bar and club managers substantially under-estimated community support for impending total smoke-free laws, due in November 2007. Conclusions: Grass-roots industry support for smoke-free laws is considerable and higher than industry comments might imply, but somewhat lesser than community support. Attempted compliance is fair, despite confusion about details.

Number of pages7
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007


  • Health policy
  • Tobacco smoke pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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