Background: While various types of smoking restrictions have been introduced in Japanese workplaces, it is not clear what restriction policies workers find acceptable. This study examined the relationship between the extent of worksite smoking restriction and worker attitudes toward these policies.
Methods: Municipal employees randomly selected from a city office were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire concerning support for and smokers' observance of their present smoking restriction. A total of 2857 (88. 6%) workers responded.
Results: More than 60% of respondents regarded a work-area ban with a designated smoking space as the most desirable policy. Among subjects who were aware of the current policies in their workplaces, positive support was highest for a total ban (73.9%) and decreased as the extent of the restriction became milder (P for trend <0.001). In contrast, an inverse relation was found for negative support (P for trend <0.001). These trends were observed among both nonsmokers and smokers. Smokers subject to a work-area ban observed the policy more faithfully than those subject to milder policies.
Conclusions: Policies prohibiting smoking in work areas were favorably accepted by municipal employees, irrespective of smoking status. These results should encourage Japanese workplaces to adopt work-area bans, through which nonsmokers are effectively protected from environmental tobacco smoke.
Copyright 1999 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.