Changes in employee smoking behavior after implementation of restrictive smoking policies

South Med J. 1996 Jul;89(7):699-706. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199607000-00010.


How do restrictive smoking policies affect the smoking behavior of employees? At two federal hospitals, 2,700 employees completed written surveys after implementation of restrictive smoking policies. At one hospital, smokers reported less smoking at work (down 2.0 cigarettes a day at 6 months, 1.7 at 12) without compensatory smoking. At the other, no significant changes in smoking behavior were reported. However, at both hospitals, some baseline smokers quit smoking. At 6 months, 9% had quit at one hospital and 8% at the other. Analyses were done using these two studies and 17 published studies. In 11 of 11 studies, consumption at work decreased, and in 12 of 14, total daily consumption decreased. Regression analysis indicated that the number of smokers who quit smoking after policy implementation increases over time at rates exceeding those normally expected in the population. Smoking policies appear to effect a reduction in total cigarette consumption and an increase in the number of smokers who quit.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Federal
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Social Control, Formal*
  • United States