An evaluation of the Vermont worksite smoking law

Public Health Rep. Nov-Dec 1992;107(6):724-6.


In view of the fact that the impact of statewide smoking laws on private worksite policies and the smoking behavior of employees has not been evaluated, two cross-sectional surveys were performed in Vermont to measure compliance with such a law: a random-digit telephone survey of employees and a subsequent mail survey of their employers. Employers were not aware that one of their employees had been surveyed. Roughly half (56 percent) of the employees and 66.5 percent of their employers described policies that are in compliance. Among all employers who described policies in compliance with the law, 68.1 percent of their employees also described compliant policies. Among all employees who described non-compliant policies, 48.8 percent had employers who described compliant policies. Overall, employees and employers agreed on how their policies stood with respect to compliance in 67.6 percent of cases. The prevalence and amount of smoking at work declined after the institution of the law but so did the prevalence and amount of smoking at home. Changes toward more restrictive policies were associated with reductions in cigarette consumption at work, but not with quitting. The study suggests that a large fraction of worksite smoking policies may not comply with a statewide worksite smoking law. The proportion of companies complying with such a law may be overestimated if information on compliance is obtained only from employers.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Occupational Health Services / organization & administration
  • Occupational Health Services / standards*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Organizational Policy
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Vermont