Methods: To assess smoking policy support and effects, 1,083 hospital employees (203 smokers) were surveyed by anonymous questionnaire 1 year after the announcement (5 months after implementation) of a new total indoor smoking ban. A second follow-up, limited to smoker respondents only, was conducted 2 years postannouncement.
Results: A total indoor smoking ban was supported by the vast majority of nonsmokers (89%) and ex-smokers (86%) and by nearly half of the then-smoking population (45%). Consistent with previous reports, the smoking ban was associated with a significant decrease in cigarette use during work hours, particularly among moderate to heavy smokers. However, the ban did not result in increased institutional quit rates. Light smokers (< 10 cig/day), compared with heavy smokers (> or = 30 cig/day), were more likely to support the no-smoking policy and had fewer problems observing the ban. They were also less apt to report a decrease in work productivity.
Conclusion: A total indoor smoking ban had little effect on overall institutional quit rates. Heavy smokers will, predictably, experience the greatest difficulty complying with a total indoor nonsmoking policy.