Eliminating smoking in bars, restaurants, and gaming clubs in California: BREATH, the California Smoke-Free Bar Program

J Public Health Policy. 2001;22(1):81-7.


On January 1, 1998, California became the first state in the country to prohibit indoor smoking in nightspots, bars, bar/restaurant combinations, bingo parlors, cardrooms, and casinos on a statewide basis. This paper describes the activities which achieved this result, based on a program with three main goals: Ease the transition for business owners; Activate public support for the law; Defeat tobacco industry efforts to undermine the law. Important lessons learned from this campaign are presented.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Gambling
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Private Sector / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Restaurants / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution