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Changes in Georgia Restaurant and Bar Smoking Policies From 2006 to 2012
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  • Description:
    Introduction

    The purpose of this study is to examine the change in smoking policy status among Georgia restaurants and bars from 2006 to 2012 and to identify restaurant and bar characteristics that are associated with allowing smoking.

    Methods

    Data were obtained from similar cross-sectional indoor air surveys conducted in 2006 and 2012 in Georgia. Both surveys were designed to gather information about restaurant and bar smoking policies. Weighted χ2 analyses were performed to identify changes in smoking policy status and other variables from 2006 to 2012. Weighted logistic regression analysis was used to test for significant associations between an establishment’s smoking policy and other characteristics.

    Results

    The percentage of restaurants and bars in Georgia that allowed smoking nearly doubled, from 9.1% in 2006 to 17.6% in 2012. The analyses also showed a significant increase in the percentage of establishments that allow smoking when minors are present. Having a liquor license was a significant predictor of allowing smoking.

    Conclusion

    The Smokefree Air Act was enacted in 2005 to protect the health and welfare of Georgia citizens, but study results suggest that policy makers should reevaluate the law and consider strengthening it to make restaurants and bars 100% smokefree without exemptions.

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