Workplace tobacco policy: progress on a winding road

J Community Health. 2001 Feb;26(1):23-37. doi: 10.1023/a:1026585030568.


This is a report of a pre- and post-intervention telephone survey to track changes in workplace tobacco policy in Pima County, Arizona, from 1997 to 1999. During this period, an extensive effort was made to assist workplaces to establish and enforce formal tobacco use policies. A random sample of 1134 workplaces, stratified by workforce size, was surveyed in 1997. Complete interviews were conducted with 934 (82.4%) workplaces. All 934 workplaces were contacted for the follow-up survey that was conducted in 1999. Of these, 824 (88.2%) completed follow-up surveys. The analyses presented were conducted on businesses that were included in both the baseline and follow-up surveys, and that reported having at least one employee on-site (n = 813). Tobacco policies and smoke-free policies were more likely to be found in larger businesses and businesses with a predominantly female workforce. There was no clear policy progression from having no policy, to having a policy, to becoming smoke-free. There was a small but significant overall decrease (4.8%) in the proportion of businesses having policies in the last two years. We found that 10.3% (75) of businesses that had policies in 1997 had dropped their policies by 1999, and that 13.4% (73) of worksites that were smoke-free in 1997 retained tobacco policies but were not smoke-free in 1999. However, formalization of policy in writing and the number of enforcement strategies utilized increased. These findings suggest that efforts to encourage businesses to establish workplace tobacco policies must be sustained even after policies have been established.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arizona
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Organizational Policy*
  • Smoking / trends
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Control Policies / trends*
  • Telephone
  • Workplace / standards*