The impact of tobacco legislation and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in bars and restaurants were assessed in a national survey.Methods
Questionnaire surveys among restaurant workers were conducted in 2007 before the smoking ban, and in 2009.Results
The exposure to ETS decreased significantly after the launch of the 2007 smoke-free law. During 2007–2009, the prevalence of those restaurant workers with no exposure increased from 54% to 82% (P-value < 0.0001), and among bartenders from 10% to 70% (P < 0.0001). Employees exposed daily for more than 4 hr decreased from 24% to 4% (P < 0.0001) and from 67% to 9% among bartenders (P < 0.0001). The prevalence of respiratory symptoms decreased from 18% to 4% (P < 0.0001) and of eye symptoms from 23% to 6% (P < 0.0001).Conclusion
The reform of tobacco legislation in 2007, which prohibited smoking in restaurants and bars, significantly decreased the exposure to ETS and the prevalence of symptoms among restaurant workers. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:37–43, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.