Introduction: The impact of tobacco legislation and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in bars and restaurants were assessed in a national survey.
Methods: Questionnaire surveys among restaurant workers were conducted in 2007 before the smoking ban, and in 2009.
Results: The exposure to ETS decreased significantly after the launch of the 2007 smoke-free law. During 2007-2009, the prevalence of those restaurant workers with no exposure increased from 54% to 82% (P-value < 0.0001), and among bartenders from 10% to 70% (P < 0.0001). Employees exposed daily for more than 4 hr decreased from 24% to 4% (P < 0.0001) and from 67% to 9% among bartenders (P < 0.0001). The prevalence of respiratory symptoms decreased from 18% to 4% (P < 0.0001) and of eye symptoms from 23% to 6% (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The reform of tobacco legislation in 2007, which prohibited smoking in restaurants and bars, significantly decreased the exposure to ETS and the prevalence of symptoms among restaurant workers.
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