Background The World Health Organization recommends uniform comprehensive smoking bans in public places. In Switzerland, regulations differ between various areas and are mostly incomplete for hospitality venues. As ambiguous regulations offer more leeway for implementation, we evaluated the Swiss regulations with respect to their effects on implementation, acceptance and compliance among hospitality workers.
Methods In our longitudinal study, a standardized, self-administered questionnaire was mailed to a sample of 185 hospitality workers before and 4–6 month after the smoking ban came into effect. The matched longitudinal sample comprised 71 participants (repeated response rate 38.4%). We developed a seven-item acceptance scale. Logistic regressions were performed to explore the factors associated with acceptance.
Results Acceptance of smoking bans was influenced by smoking status and perceived annoyance with second-hand smoke in private. Although not statistically significant (P = 0.09), we found some indications that post-ban acceptance increased in an area with strict regulations, whereas it decreased in two areas with less stringent regulations.
Conclusions Tobacco bans in Swiss hospitality venues are still in a period of consolidation. The incomplete nature of the law may also have had a negative impact on the development of greater acceptance.