INTRODUCTION: While evaluations of indoor smoke-free legislation have demonstrated major public health benefits among adults, their impact on smoking behavior of young people remains unclear. Therefore, we performed a systematic review of the association between smoke-free legislation in hospitality venues and smoking behavior of young people.
METHODS: A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, and Embase in June 2020. We searched for studies that assessed the association of any form of smoke-free legislation in any hospitality venue (e.g. bar, restaurant) with a smoking behavior outcome (e.g. initiation, current smoking) among young people (aged 10-24 years).
RESULTS: Our search yielded 572 articles of which 31 were screened based on full-text and 9 were included in the analysis. All studies were published between 2005 and 2016. The majority of studies used a quasi-experimental design. Four studies evaluated smoke-free legislation in hospitality venues specifically. Two studies reported that comprehensive, but not weaker, smoke-free legislation decrease progression to established smoking. Two other studies provided mixed results on which level of comprehensiveness of legislation would be effective, and which smoking outcomes would be affected. Five studies evaluated legislation that also included other workplaces. Out of these five studies, three studies found significant decreases in current smoking, smoking frequency, and/or smoking quantity, while two other studies did not.
CONCLUSION: Most studies found that smoke-free legislation in hospitality venues is associated with a decrease in smoking behavior among young people. Their results indicate the need for comprehensive smoke-free legislation without exemptions.
IMPLICATIONS: This is the first systematic review to provide insight in the relationship between smoke-free legislation in hospitality venues and smoking behavior of young people. Our findings show that there is a need for comprehensive smoke-free legislation without exemptions (such as designated smoking areas).