element of the muticentre study of the respiratory health of bar workers (All
Ireland Bar Study) recruited 68 bar owners (58%) or staff (42%). Potential participants in all public
bars in County Galway were initially contacted by letter. Arrangements were
made with respondents to visit them at their place of work for completion of a
questionnaire, repiratory tests and cotinine samples. Post-ban follow up visits
are being arranged approximately 1 year after the initial visits. Follow up
data are available to date (11 March) on 30 bar staff. In this presentation
questions that addressed the attitudes of Galway bar workers and owners to the
smoking ban are considered. Preliminary results of analysis of data before
(n=68) and after the ban (n=30) are presented.
Participants were asked to state whether they agreed or
disagreed with a series of statements positing either positive or negative
aspects of the ban on smoking in public bars. They were also asked whether they
agreed or disagreed with the ban in general.
Before the ban 68% agreed with the ban in general, 19% were
undecided and 22% disagreed with the ban. Preliminary analysis of post-ban data
revealed little difference in the distribution of these responses (67%, 10% and
23% respectively). Agreement with several of the statements, suggesting either
negative or positive aspects of the ban, was associated with overall agreement
/ disagreement with the ban in general and with smoking status. For example,
before the ban, 73% agreed with the statement that smoke free bars will make
visits to them more comfortable. However, 87% of those who agreed with the ban
in general, agreed with this statement compared to only 29% of those who
disagreed with the ban in general. Similarly, of those who smoked, 48% agreed
with this statement compared to 86% of non-smokers.
Comparison of responses to the series of statements before
and after the ban, indicate some changes in the proportions agreeing or
disagreeing with them. In particular, before the ban, preliminary results show
73% agreed that smoke free bars would make visits to them more comfortable;
this has changed to 93% in agreement since the ban. After the ban 90% agreed
that the smoking ban is needed to protect the health of workers compared to 59%
before the ban. Seventy percent, however, now agree with the statement that the
ban has resulted in job losses compared to 46% before the ban.
In conclusion, preliminary analyses of the attitudes of a
subset of the Galway bar workers (30 out of 68) indicate overall support for
the ban with some changes indicating increased support for some consequences of
the ban However, only tentative
conclusions can be drawn from these small numbers. Analyses of the changes in attitudes of bar
staff from all four study areas (n=329) will be undertaken once the data collection
process has been completed (end March 2005).