Smoking control in restaurants: the effectiveness of self-regulation in Australia

Am J Public Health. 1993 Sep;83(9):1284-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.9.1284.


Objectives: The provision of smoke-free areas in restaurants has been a controversial issue; the restaurant industry largely opts for a self-regulation approach. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of self-regulation as a strategy in meeting the industry's and customers' perceived needs.

Methods: Restaurateur and customer perspectives on the provision of smoke-free areas in restaurants were examined by survey among 365 restaurateurs and 1327 customers in New South Wales, Australia.

Results: Less than 2% of restaurants were totally smoke-free; 22% provided some smoke-free areas. Customers were much more likely than owners to think that smoke-free areas should be provided. Owners appeared to be unaware of customers' views about smoke-free areas in restaurants.

Conclusions: Little evidence was found to support the effectiveness of the self-regulation policy adopted by the restaurant industry. Characteristics of restaurants and owners associated with the provision of smoke-free areas are presented and implications of the findings are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • New South Wales
  • Public Opinion
  • Restaurants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution