Smoke-Free Policies Result in High Levels of Compliance
National and international studies have shown that state and local smoke-free laws typically result in high levels of compliance.1–5
A statewide smoke-free law in New York took effect in 2003.
A study found high levels of compliance with the law throughout the state (i.e., in bars, restaurants, and other hospitality settings).2
Furthermore, inspections conducted in New York City within 1 year after the law took effect also found that 97% of restaurants and bars were not allowing smoking, had removed ashtrays, and had posted "no smoking" signs.3
|New York||Before law took effect||1 month after law took effect|
|Proportion of bars, restaurants, and bowling alleys that were smoke-free||31%||93%|
A statewide smoke-free bar law took effect in California on January 1, 1998.
A study found that patron compliance with the smoke-free law increased significantly over the course of 4 years.4
|California||In 1998||In 2002|
|Patron compliance with smoke-free law in stand-alone bars||46%||76%|
A national smoke-free law took effect in Ireland in 2004.
A telephone survey found a significant decrease in observed smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and pubs within 1 year after the law took effect.5
|Ireland||Shortly before law took effect||1 year after law took effect|
|Adults who observed smoking in workplaces||62%||14%|
|Adults who observed smoking in restaurants||85%||3%|
|Adults who observed smoking in pubs||98%||5%|
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006 [accessed 2011 Mar 8].
- New York State Department of Health. The Health and Economic Impact of New York's Clean Indoor Air Act. [PDF–222.32 KB] New York: New York State Department of Health, 2006 [accessed 2011 Mar 8].
- New York City Department of Finance, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Department of Small Business Services, New York City Economic Development Corporation. The State of Smoke-Free New York: A One-Year Review. [PDF–377.32 KB] New York: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2004 [accessed 2011 Mar 8].
- Weber MD, Bagwell DAS, Fielding JE, Glantz SA. Long Term Compliance with California's Smoke-Free Workplace Law Among Bars and Restaurants in Los Angeles County. Tobacco Control 2003;12(3):269–73 [cited 2011 Mar 8].
- Fong GT, Hyland A, Borland R, Hammond D, Hastings G, McNeill A, et al. Reductions in Tobacco Smoke Pollution and Increases in Support for Smoke-Free Public Places Following the Implementation of Comprehensive Smoke-Free Workplace Legislation in the Republic of Ireland: Findings from the ITC Ireland/UK Survey. Tobacco Control 2006;15(Suppl III):iii51–iii58 [cited 2011 Mar 8].
For Further Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
Media Inquiries: Contact CDC's Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770-488-5493.
Get email updates
To receive email updates about Smoking & Tobacco Use, enter your email address:
- CDC/Office on Smoking and Health
4770 Buford Highway
Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717
TTY: (888) 232-6348