Pre-Smoke-Ban Cafã© Staff Job Satisfaction and Attitudes in Transition Countries

Article excerpt

Abstract

While a growing number of countries and sub-national localities are banning smoking in hospitality workplaces, extant research on the impacts of smoke-free legislation has centered on hospitality employees and industries in developed countries. Hoping to assist in filling this void, this research empirically explores the relationships among café employees' attitudes, demographics, work-related variables (WRV), and job satisfaction before the introduction of a smoke-free legislation in one transition economy, i.e. Bosnia-Herzegovina. Results revealed that café area served, gender, average weekly workload, café seating allocation, and education were for the most part not significant in explaining different perceptions toward a smoking ban. However, respondents' preferred café smoking policy, smoking status, hospitality work experience, job satisfaction, and age did influence how respondents viewed the smoking ban. In terms of respondents' preferred café smoking policy, significant differences were noted due to smoking status and café seating allocation. In regards to job satisfaction, staffwith more positive pre-implementation attitudes towards the ban exhibit significantly higher levels of dissatisfaction with the current job. Overall, respondents appear willing to make concessions for both pro- and anti-smoking patrons, staff, and owners/managers. Therefore, lawmakers should consider population characteristics, seating allocation, and the combination thereof when devising café smoking policies.

© 2013 International University College. All rights reserved

Keywords: second-hand smoke, smoking ban, attitude, job satisfaction, transition country, employee

Introduction

Healthcare and tobacco research has long established that smoking is not only hazardous to smokers, but also to those exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS; also known as the environmental tobacco smoke [ETS]) in restaurants, bars, offices, and other enclosed spaces where smoking is allowed (National Cancer Institute, 1999; World Health Organization [WHO], 2008, 2011a). Moreover, ETS levels have been found to be 3.9-6.1 times higher in bars, as compared to office workplaces (Siegel, 1993). Armed with evidence that SHS harms the health of customers and employees, many countries and jurisdictions (e.g. U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, etc.) have in the past two decades adopted legislation restricting or prohibiting smoking in work-places and public places, such as restaurants and bars. Needless to say, in both past and present attempts to ban smoking in restaurants and bars, many hospitality owners, managers, and associations have put up resistance to a smoking ban, citing rights (as owners) to make their own decisions regarding smoking policies and fears from a decrease in patronage and the associated loss in sales and profits (Hirasuna, 2006; Roseman, 2005).

In response to the often heated debates between public health advocates and smoking ban opponents regarding the economic effects of smoking bans in bars and restaurants, over 150 studies in English language have been conducted on the subject as late as February 2008, as identified by Scollo and Lal (2008). Despite voluminous research, a closer inspection of the 150+ smoke-ban-related research articles comprehensively reviewed by Scollo and Lal reveals the following three gaps in the available research. First, only 36 (22%) of the smoke-ban-related studies were peer reviewed, with many non-peer reviewed studies sponsored by the tobacco industry (Scollo and Lal, 2008). Second, of the 36 peer reviewed studies, 22 (63%) were conducted in the U.S., followed by Australia (4), Canada (3), New Zealand (3), South Africa (2), UK (1), and Italy (1). Meanwhile, research in transition and developing countries remains scarce. Third, very few research articles about employees' attitudes and job satisfaction toward smoking bans have been published in hospitality journals thus far (Hetland et al. …