Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 221–227 | Cite as

Law in Practice: Obstacles to a Smokefree Workplace Policy in Bars Serving Asian Patrons

  • Tamar M. J. Antin
  • Roland S. Moore
  • Juliet P. Lee
  • Travis D. Satterlund
Original Paper


The California smokefree workplace ordinance (AB13) has been well-received, even in bars where deeply established traditions of smoking may exist. However, a closer investigation of bars where indoor smoking persists revealed that bar workers in some ethnic minority communities continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in their workplaces. To identify sociocultural factors that may impede the adoption of AB13, the researchers conducted 150 observations and 29 patron and staff interviews in 50 California bars serving Asian patrons in Los Angeles and San Francisco counties. Observers witnessed indoor smoking in 82% of the bars. Interviews revealed that social relationships, social interactions, and a tendency to avoid confrontation complicated the positive reception of AB13 within these bars. Accounting for sociocultural factors provides a nuanced understanding of the challenges involved in implementing tobacco control policy in such diverse settings and may allow for culturally appropriate tobacco policy development and implementation in other jurisdictions.


Tobacco control Smokefree workplace Cross-cultural policy Asian immigrants 



Funding for data collection was provided by the University of California Office of the President’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) grant 12RT-0116 and analysis funding was provided by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health grant 1R01-CA100772. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health. We wish to acknowledge the efforts of the field observers and interviewers and the support and cooperation of officials in San Francisco and Los Angeles counties. We thank Danielle Cooper at the University of North Texas, and Rachelle Annechino and Scott Martin at the Prevention Research Center for their thoughtful comments and assistance on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamar M. J. Antin
    • 1
  • Roland S. Moore
    • 1
  • Juliet P. Lee
    • 1
  • Travis D. Satterlund
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Prevention Research CenterPacific Institute for Research and EvaluationBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.School of Public HealthUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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