TitleChanges in smoking among restaurant and bar employees following Norway's comprehensive smoking ban.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBraverman, MT, Aarø, LEdvard, Hetland, J
JournalHealth promotion international
Date Published2008 Mar

Norway implemented a nationwide ban on indoor smoking in June 2004. This study documents the smoking patterns of Norway's restaurant and bar workers before and after the ban, to determine changes in smoking prevalence and explore which individual and environmental characteristics were related to cessation. A national sample of food service workers was surveyed by telephone or Internet immediately before the ban and at 4 and 11 months post-implementation. Results showed that between baseline measurement and 4 months post-implementation, there were significant declines in prevalence of daily smoking (-3.6% points, p < 0.005), daily smoking at work (-6.2% points, p < 0.001), number of cigarettes smoked by continuing smokers (-1.55, p < 0.001) and number of cigarettes smoked at work by continuing smokers (-1.63, p < 0.001). No significant changes occurred in any of these variables between 4 and 11 months post-implementation. Logistic regression analysis revealed that only smokers' intentions at baseline to quit within 30 days predicted cessation at both follow-up time points. In addition, cessation at 4 months was predicted by lower daily cigarette consumption at baseline, whereas cessation at 11 months was predicted by baseline attitude toward ETS and exposure to ETS as measured at follow-up. In sum, Norway's smoking ban was accompanied by a reduction in smoking in the period immediately following the ban, and the reduction was maintained almost a year later. The finding that smoking cessation was consistently associated with smokers' intentions to quit within 30 days suggests that motivational and support programs could play a significant role in boosting cessation rates. It is recommended that targeted interventions be used to supplement the benefits of a comprehensive ban to achieve tobacco control objectives.