Home > Greater gains from smoke-free legislation for non-smoking bar staff in Belfast.

Bannon, Finian and Devlin, Anne and McElwee, Gerry and Gavin, Anna (2009) Greater gains from smoke-free legislation for non-smoking bar staff in Belfast. European Journal of Public Health , 19 , (6) , pp. 638-643.

BACKGROUND:
In April 2007, smoke-free legislation was enacted in workplaces throughout N. Ireland. The effects of this legislation on bar workers' health and their exposure to second-hand smoke at home, work and social environment, and their attitudes to the legislation before and after its implementation remain to be documented.

METHODS:
A self-completed questionnaire of bar staff in 35 Belfast bars, before (March 2007, n = 110) and after the legislation (July 2007, n = 110).

RESULTS:
Smokers (excluding 'social smokers') made up 41.6% of respondents. After the introduction of the smoke-free legislation, the reductions in the proportion of bar workers reporting various respiratory symptoms ranged from 1.3% to 18.6% for smokers and from 21.9% to 33.2% for non-smokers. Likewise, the reductions for various sensory symptoms ranged from 7.3% to 17.7% for smokers and from 29.6% to 46.8% for non-smokers. Reduction in wheeze, cough and throat symptoms after the legislation were much greater for non-smokers than smokers. The proportion of bar staff who reported satisfaction with the legislation remained unchanged across the surveys. Decreases in perceived exposure to second-hand smoke occurred at work, home and in social settings. After the legislation's enactment, a majority of bar workers felt the workplace was healthier (98%).

CONCLUSION:
These first findings show reduced reported symptoms among bar workers, both smokers and non-smokers, after the introduction of smoke-free legislation in N. Ireland, though greater among non-smokers. There was also a reported fall in the hours of second-hand smoke exposure in the home for this group of workers which has a high prevalence of smokers.

 

Item Type:Article
Date:2009
Page Range:pp. 638-643
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Volume:19
Number:6
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Related URLs:
Subjects:L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context > Context discouraging substance use > Substance free context
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context
VA Geographic area > Europe > Northern Ireland
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context > Workplace context
G Health and disease > State of health > Physical health
B Substances > Tobacco (cigarette smoking) > Tobacco smoke (cigarette law / policy)

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