The Austrian Tobacco Act in practice--analysing the effectiveness of partial smoking bans in Austrian restaurants and bars

Health Policy. 2012 Mar;104(3):304-11. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Dec 3.


The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of partial smoking bans in restaurants and bars, such as those currently in place in Austria, by evaluating adherence to the relevant regulations and assessing the satisfaction levels of those affected by these regulations. To evaluate adherence, 127 randomly selected restaurants and bars were observed using a form of structured observation. In order to evaluate their level of satisfaction with the regulations, 342 randomly selected customers and 29 restaurant owners were interviewed using standardized questionnaires. The customers widely adhered to the partial smoking bans, but many of them were dissatisfied with the fragmented Austrian solution. Most restaurant owners showed neither adherence to the relevant regulations nor satisfaction with the partial smoking bans. The present study reveals that partial bans on smoking are an ineffective solution. The presumed advantages of these regulations, such as still allowing smoking in restaurants provided a spatial separation of smoking and non-smoking areas is guaranteed, cannot be confirmed; adherence to the partial bans is rather inadequate, especially among restaurant owners, and the level of satisfaction with the Austrian solution is poor as well, not only among smoking and non-smoking customers, but also restaurant owners.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Female
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Restaurants*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution