Location restrictions on smoking: assessing their differential impacts and consequences in the workplace

Kirsten Bell, Lucy McCullough, Karen Devries, Natasha Jategaonkar, Lorraine Greaves, Lindsay Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To analyze existing evidence on the impact of two types of location restrictions on smoking: workplace bans and bans in hospitality settings, and to assess the extent to which they differentially affect subpopulations.

METHODS: A review of international studies on location restrictions on smoking published between 1990-2007.

RESULTS: Although workplace smoking bans reduce exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) at work, their effects on overall cigarette consumption and smoking prevalence may be uneven across the population. Bans in hospitality settings reduce SHS exposure among workers, but have potentially uneven effects based on the interactions between gender, socio-economic status (SES) and ethnicity. The unintended consequences of smoking bans are also more likely to be experienced by low SES groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Although location restrictions on smoking reduce SHS exposure and may serve to positively impact smoking behaviours, there is preliminary evidence that they may have a reduced impact on subpopulations such as low-income groups, although further research is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2009


  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Commerce
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk-Taking
  • Smoking
  • Social Control Policies
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Workplace
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

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