Implementing the ban on smoking in israeli pubs: Measuring airborne nicotine and enforcement by local authorities

Carmit Satran, Anat Drach-Zahavy, S. Katharine Hammond, Orna Baron-Epel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In 2007 an amendment to the law restricting smoking in pubs and bars (P&Bs) was enacted in Israel. However, a year after the ban only slight decreases in airborne smoke in P&Bs in one city have been reported. Purpose: We aimed to assess levels of airborne nicotine in Israeli P&Bs and to measure if self-reported enforcement of the law by local officials was associated with levels of airborne nicotine in P&Bs. Methods: Airborne nicotine levels were measured in 72 P&Bs in 29 towns in Israel; this consisted of 90% of eligible towns. In addition, 73 local authority officials were interviewed in 25 of these towns. The officials were asked to assess the local authority’s level of enforcement of the law banning smoking in P&Bs. The association of levels of airborne nicotine with the levels of enforcement of the law was calculated. Data were collected during 2009-2010 and analyzed in 2010-2011. Results: Levels of airborne nicotine were comparatively high in P&Bs. No association was detected between levels of nicotine and the P&Bs’ characteristics. In the larger towns, levels of airborne nicotine were higher. In 16% of towns the local authority officials reported high levels of law enforcement. Generally, levels of reported enforcement by local authorities were low and did not predict levels of airborne nicotine in the P&Bs. Conclusions: Self-reported local authorities’ law enforcement was not associated with levels of airborne nicotine in P&Bs in these towns. There is a need to develop ways to increase law enforcement by the local authorities or other agencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Cancer Association through the Environmental and Epidemiology Foundation of the late Israel Jacob and Lila Alther, and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI), through the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • Airborne nicotine
  • Law enforcement
  • Local authorities
  • Pubs and bars
  • Second-hand smoke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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