Observations from behind the bar: changing patrons' behaviours in response to smoke-free legislation in Scotland

Hilton, S. , Cameron, J., MacLean, A. and Petticrew, M. (2008) Observations from behind the bar: changing patrons' behaviours in response to smoke-free legislation in Scotland. BMC Public Health, 8(1), p. 238. (doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-238) (PMID:18625044) (PMCID:PMC2475535)

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Background: "Smoke-Free" legislation prohibiting smoking in all enclosed public places was introduced in March 2006. This qualitative study presents insights from bar workers about their observations of the changing social bar environment, changing patrons' behaviours and challenges bar workers have faced in managing smoke-free legislation. Methods: Twelve in-depth interviews were conducted between November 2006 and January 2007 with a purposively-selected sample of bar workers, identified from a larger quantitative study evaluating the impact of the legislation in Scotland [the Bar Workers' Health and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure project (BHETSE)]. Results: Bar workers all spoke of the improvements the legislation had brought to their working lives and the greater comfort it appeared to offer patrons. Bar workers reported that patrons were generally quick to accept and comply with the new law, and that families had become a greater feature of pub life since the legislation. However, they expressed concerns that older men seemed to have had most difficulty adjusting to the legislation and lack of knowledge about the best practices they should adopt in order to reduce the risks of unattended drinks being spiked and of anti-social behaviour associated with patrons moving outside to smoke. Conclusion: Smoke-free legislation is changing the social context of smoking in Scotland. Further research to assess the impact the legislation is having on older male smokers and on the incidence of drink spiking would be useful. More specifically, bar workers would benefit from guidance on how to manage issues arising from patrons moving outside to smoke.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Petticrew, Dr Mark and Hilton, Professor Shona and MacLean, Dr Alice
Authors: Hilton, S., Cameron, J., MacLean, A., and Petticrew, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):1471-2458
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 Hilton et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
First Published:First published in BMC Public Health 8(1):238
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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