Objectives: This study evaluated compliance with regulations prohibiting smoking in public places by using a new method of smoking simulation.
Methods: Sites in Sabadell, Spain, were visited by observers who lit a cigarette, simulating the act of smoking, and noted the placement and content of signs indicating smoking restrictions.
Results: A warning was given in only 17% of sites. A significant association was observed between the presence of signs banning smoking and the elicitation of a warning from people present.
Conclusions: Simulating the violation of smoking restrictions may be used as an efficient method of assessing enforcement of the prohibition of public smoking.