Objectives: The effect of local workplace smoking laws in California was assessed to determine whether such laws increase smoking cessation.
Methods: Workplace smoking ordinance data from 1990 were appended to 1990 California Tobacco Survey data from 4680 adult indoor workers who were current cigarette smokers or reported smoking in the 6 months before the survey. Ordinance effects on cigarette smoking and worksite policy were estimated by using multiple logistic regression controlling for sociodemographic variables.
Results: Smokers who worked in localities with a strong workplace ordinance (compared with no workplace ordinance) were more likely to report the existence of a worksite smoking policy (odds ratio [OR] = 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2, 2.2) and to report quitting smoking in the prior 6 months (OR = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.1, 1.7). In communities with strong ordinances, an estimated 26.4% of smokers quit smoking within 6 months of the survey and were abstinent at the time of the survey, compared with an estimated 19.1% in communities with no ordinance.
Conclusions: Workplace smoking ordinances increased smoking cessation among employed smokers, indicating that these laws may benefit smokers as well as nonsmokers.