A qualitative analysis of compliance with smoke-free legislation in community bars in Scotland: implications for public health

Eadie, D., Heim, D., MacAskill, S., Ross, A. , Hastings, G. and Davies, J. (2008) A qualitative analysis of compliance with smoke-free legislation in community bars in Scotland: implications for public health. Addiction, 103(6), pp. 1019-1026. (doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02217.x)

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Abstract

Aim  To explore compliance with the smoke-free legislation within a cross-section of community bars in Scotland.<p></p> Design  Ethnographic case study combining unobtrusive observation and in-depth interviews conducted pre- and post-introduction.<p></p> Setting  Eight Scottish community bars in three contrasting study communities.<p></p> Participants  Ten bar proprietors, 16 bar workers and 44 customers.<p></p> Measurements  Observations and participant reports of compliance over the first 12 months of the smoking ban.<p></p> Findings  All eight study bars endeavoured to enforce the ban, but with varying enthusiasm. Compliance varied, with violations more prevalent in those bars serving deprived communities. Most violations occurred in peripheral areas and generally went unchallenged. Six bars reported some form of complicit behaviour with staff and customers smoking together, either in the entrance area or during ‘lock-ins’ when access to the bar was restricted to regular customers. Three factors were particularly important to explaining variance between bars: smoking norms, management competency and management attitudes towards the ban. The first and last were related to social disadvantage.<p></p> Conclusions  Official data provide only a crude assessment of compliance in licensed premises. Data from this study offer a detailed picture of the nature and levels of compliance, and suggest a need for more sophisticated surveillance methods, greater enforcement and use of prosecutions where merited, and targeted support for bars serving deprived communities to help ensure that the major gains already achieved are retained and built upon. It is also suggested that acceptance of the smoke-free legislation could be enhanced by complementary initiatives targeting support to smokers in deprived communities. Those planning to introduce smoke-free legislation need to set in place these measures in advance in order to realize the benefits of full compliance.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ross, Dr Alastair
Authors: Eadie, D., Heim, D., MacAskill, S., Ross, A., Hastings, G., and Davies, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Dental School
Journal Name:Addiction
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN:0965-2140
ISSN (Online):1360-0443

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