Academic journal article European Journal of Tourism Research

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

Academic journal article European Journal of Tourism Research

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

Article excerpt

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., 2008; Pizam, 2012). Indeed, updating the literature on smoking ban issues is important to the hospitality industry and hospitality owners and managers are seeking relevant data that identifies the potential impact smoking bans will have on employees' health, attitudes, and job satisfaction.

The lack of peer reviewed research regarding (1) the effects of smoke-free legislation on the hospitality industry, (2) the impacts on hospitality sectors in transition countries, and (3) employees' job satisfaction and attitudes toward smoke-free legislation in general, form the basis for this study. The additional rationale for this study stems from the relevance and timeliness of employee opinion regarding smoking in hospitality establishments in transition countries. In one transition country, i.e. Bosnia-Herzegovina, the parliament ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on July 10, 2009 (WHO, 2011b). Consequently, Bosnia-Herzegovina officials are on the verge of introducing the new anti-smoking regulations that will affect cafés, restaurants, schools, theatres, hospitals, factories, and all government offices.

The main objectives of this exploratory study are to:

* Assess the profile of Bosnia-Herzegovina café staff;

* Examine employees' pre-implementation job satisfaction and attitudes towards café smoking ordinances in Bosnia-Herzegovina;

* Empirically explore whether the reported attitudes are associated with demographics (i.e., gender, education, and age) and work-related variables ([WRV] i.e., hospitality work experience, average weekly workload, smoking status, preferred café smoking policy, café area served, café seating allocation);

* Assess the influence of demographics and WRV on café smoking policy;

* Investigate the effects of demographics, WRV, and attitudes towards a café smoking ban on employee's job satisfaction;

The rest of the paper is organized as follows; we first review the impacts of smoke-free legislation on the hospitality sector. …

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