A "smoke-free" hospital in Israel--a possible mission

Prev Med. 2004 Sep;39(3):589-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.02.020.


Background: A revised antismoking law in Israel (August 2001) called for a complete ban of smoking in hospitals. An evaluation of a hospital process and short-term outcome of implementing such policy may guideline its sustainability.

Methods: Two cross-sectional, random-sample surveys of employees 3 months before policy implementation, and 6-9 months post-implementation. The pre-implementation survey included 368 employees (90.4% response rate) and the post-implementation survey, 364 (92.8% response rate).

Results: The 'smoke-free' policy significantly reduced smoking in the unauthorized areas. Before implementation, 63% of staff reported frequently observing smoking in the hospital, compared to 40% 6 months post-policy implementation (P < 0.001). Significantly more smokers reported leaving their workplace to smoke (17% pre- vs. 62% post-implementation, P < 0.0001). Sixty-five percent of smokers, in both surveys, agreed that "a smoke-free policy is unfair to smokers". Fewer nonsmokers subscribed to this belief: 42% pre- and 34% post-implementation. Smoker prevalence remained unchanged (19%).

Conclusions: Implementation of a "smoke-free" policy is an effective way to reduce smoking in the hospital environment. More effort is required, however, to help staff quit smoking altogether.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Legislation, Hospital*
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Personnel, Hospital / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Personnel, Hospital / psychology
  • Policy Making
  • Probability
  • Public Policy
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Cessation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution