Impact of the smoke-free workplace legislation on smoking behaviour, risk perception & stigmatisation
Lonergan, Bernie J.
University College Cork
The Republic of Ireland became the first European country to implement nationwide smoke-free workplace legislation. Aims: To determine prevalence of smoking among bar workers and estimate the impact of the smoke-free workplace legislation on their smoking behaviour to that of a comparable general population sample. To approximate the influence of tobacco control measures on risk perception of second-hand smoke (SHS) among the general population. To explore the de-normalisation of smoking behaviour and the potential increased stigmatisation of smokers and their smoking. Methods: Prevalence estimates and behavioural changes were examined among a random sample of bar workers before and 1 year after the smoke-free legislation; comparisons made with a general population sub-sample. Changes in risk knowledge related to SHS exposure were based on general population data. Qualitative interviews were conducted among a purposive sample of smokers and non-smokers four years after the implementation of the legislation. Results: Smoking prevalence was extremely high among bar workers. Smoking prevalence dropped in bar workers and significantly among the general population 1 year post ban while cigarette consumption dropped significantly among bar workers. Disparity in knowledge between smokers and non-smoker of risk associated with SHS exposure reduced. Lack of understanding of the risk of ear infections in children posed by SHS exposure was notable. Evidence for advanced de-normalisation of smoking behaviour and intensification of stigma because of the introduction of the legislation was dependent on many factors, quality of smoking facilities played a key role. Conclusions: Ireland’s smoke-free legislation was associated with a drop in prevalence and cigarette consumption. Disparity in knowledge between smokers and non-smokers of the risk posed by SHS exposure reduced however the risk of ear infections in children needs to be effectively disseminated. The proliferation of ‘good’ smoking areas may diminish the potential to reduce smoking behaviour and de-normalise smoking.
Smoke-free legislation , Second hand smoke , Risk perception , Stigmatisation , Pub , De-normalisation , Smoking ban , Tobacco control
Lonergan, B. J. 2013. Impact of the smoke-free workplace legislation on smoking behaviour, risk perception & stigmatisation. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.