Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Restaurant and bar owners and managers respond to North Carolina's smoke-free law, electronic cigarette use inside their businesses, and smoke-free outdoor seating areas
by Staples, Celia Ann Houston, M.A., East Carolina University, 2015, 88; 1590169
Abstract (Summary)

This descriptive, cross-sectional study was used to collect and analyze data provided from a pencil and paper survey mailed to a randomly selected group of North Carolina restaurants and bars. The topic of the study was North Carolina's smoke-free restaurants and bars law. The two purposes of this study were: 1) to assess whether, after five years of implementation of the N.C. smoke-free law, restaurant and bar owners and managers receive complaints about the law, and whether they are experiencing the benefits promised when the law was first passed and 2) to explore their actions and interest related to policies that go beyond what is covered in the state law, specifically prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes indoors and/or providing smoke-free seating areas for customers outside.

A 20-question survey was mailed to 663 restaurant and bar owners/managers. The overall response rate was 20.3% (23% for restaurants and 17% for bars). The total number of surveys analyzed was 135 (86 from restaurants and 49 from bars). All participants acknowledged knowing about the smoke-free law, and the two most frequently selected benefits for restaurants and bars were customers breathing less tobacco smoke (65.2%) and fewer complaints about secondhand smoke (58.5%). Another frequently selected benefit of the law was reduced maintenance and cleaning costs (45.9%). A total of 79.1% of restaurants and 73.5% of bars reported at least one benefit from the smoke-free law.

Further analysis showed that while restaurant and bar owners/managers receive few complaints about secondhand smoke, more than half of bars reported receiving complaints during the last 12 months from smoking customers and employees about not having a place indoors to smoke. Qualitative analysis of comments responding to an open-ended question showed that bar owners and managers tend to be less happy with the smoke-free law than restaurant owners and managers. Bar owners and managers also shared specific problems with the law and recommended solutions to those problems.

Restaurants were found to be significantly more likely than bars to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes inside their businesses, with more than two-thirds of restaurant participants either banning their use inside or limiting their use to designated areas. Restaurants and bars did not show a statistically significant difference in smoke-free outdoor customer areas, with 29% of all participants reporting some smoke-free policy for outdoor customer areas.

A moderate number of participants said they are interested in more information about restricting electronic cigarette use (14.3%) and more information about creating smoke-free outdoor customer areas (18.6%). Trends and interest in both of these policy areas create an opportunity for public health to respond with programs and policy efforts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gallien, Tara L.
Commitee: Martin, Ryan J., Matthews, Jennifer
School: East Carolina University
Department: Health Education
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public health, Health education
Keywords: Bar owners managers, North Carolina, Restaurant owners managers, Smoke-free policy, Smoke-free restaurants and bars, Tobacco control
Publication Number: 1590169
ISBN: 978-1-321-78929-4
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