A total ban on workplace smoking is acceptable and effective

J Occup Med. 1991 Feb;33(2):163-7.


The acceptability and effectiveness of a total workplace smoking ban in Telecom Australia was evaluated in a series of studies. Staff in a sample of representative areas were surveyed prior to the introduction of the bans, then 6 and 18 months afterward. By 18 months 81% of all staff, including 53% of smokers, approved of the bans. Sixty-six percent of staff reported a total ban was operative, and 31% reported a total ban except for a smoking room, leaving only 3% reporting lesser restrictions. Smokers were smoking between three and four less cigarettes per work day, and the numbers of smokers had decreased by about double the community rate. The policy had little perceived effect on productivity but resulted in some tension between staff that progressively decreased and now is limited to the few areas where there were problems with compliance. A subsample of managers and staff were interviewed and factors relevant to successful implementation of the policy were identified. These included a clear statement of policy, strong managerial support via equipping managers with leadership and negotiating skills, and the use of occupational health nurses. It is important to provide assistance to affected staff to help them adjust to the ban both before as well as in the months after implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution