Background: The introduction of bans on smoking in restaurants is frequently marred by claims that they will lead to a loss of business.
Methods: A representative sample of 3,019 South Australians age 15+ years were asked questions about dining-out frequency and perceived effects of the ban on their dining-out enjoyment and restaurant patronage.
Results: Sixty-one percent thought the ban would make dining out more enjoyable, 5% thought it would be less enjoyable, and 34% thought it would make no difference. Overall, 82% thought the ban would make no difference to their likelihood of dining out, 14% would be more likely to dine out, and 4% would be less likely.
Conclusions: These data suggest that the public expects bans on smoking in restaurants to result in both increased enjoyment and increased patronage of restaurants.
Copyright 1999 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.