Using socially fair treatment to promote acceptance of a work site smoking ban

J Appl Psychol. 1994 Apr;79(2):288-97. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.79.2.288.


Announcements of a work site smoking ban were made to 732 clerical workers. The presentations differed in the amount of information given about the need for the ban and the degree of interpersonal sensitivity shown over the personal impact of the ban. Immediately after the announcement, questionnaires were completed to assess participants' acceptance of the ban. High amounts of information thoroughness and of social sensitivity, given separately, enhanced acceptance of the ban, but their combined effects were even greater. Although heavy smokers were least accepting of the ban, they showed the greatest incremental gain in acceptance after exposure to thorough information presented in a highly sensitive manner. By contrast, nonsmokers' acceptance of the ban was uniformly unaffected by the way it was presented to them. Regardless of how much they smoked, all participants recognized the procedural fairness associated with giving thorough information in a socially sensitive manner.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Workplace*