Compliance with Smoke-Free Policies in Korean Bars and Restaurants in California: a Descriptive Analysis


Background: Compliance with California’s smoke-free restaurant and bar policies may be more a functionof social contingencies and less a function of legal contingencies. The aims of this study were: 1) to reportindications of compliance with smoke-free legislation in Korean bars and restaurants in California; 2) to examinethe demographic, smoking status, and acculturation factors of who smoked indoors; and 3) to report social cuesin opposition to smoking among a sample of Koreans in California. Materials and
Methods: Data were collectedby telephone surveys administered by bilingual interviewers between 2007-2009, and included California adultsof Korean descent who visited a Korean bar or restaurant in a typical month (N=2,173, 55% female).
Results:1% of restaurant-going participants smoked inside while 7% observed someone else smoke inside a Koreanrestaurant. Some 23% of bar-going participants smoked inside and 65% observed someone else smoke insidea Korean bar. Presence of ashtrays was related to indoor smoking in bars and restaurants. Among participantswho observed smoking, a higher percentage observed someone ask a smoker to stop (17.6%) or gesture to asmoker (27.0%) inside Korean restaurants (N=169) than inside Korean bars (n=141, 17.0% observed verbal cueand 22.7% observed gesture). Participants who smoked inside were significantly younger and more acculturatedthan participants who did not. Less acculturated participants were significantly more to likely to be told to stopsmoking.
Conclusions: Ten years after implementation of ordinances, smoking appears to be common in Koreanbars in California.