Smoking Ban in workplaces in Ireland and its effects

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Degree Programme, option
Tourism and Catering
Terhi Asunmaa, Vuokko Ruokolainen
Title of study
Smoking Ban in workplaces in Ireland and its effects on Irish pub behaviour. Case: Baltimore and
Skibbereen, West Cork
Type of project                     Date                             Pages
Thesis                              16.5.2006                        51 + 6
Supervisor of study

Markku Haapakoski

A smoking ban in most enclosed workplaces was introduced in Ireland on March 29th 2004,
including all licensed premises. The aim of this thesis was to study if the smoking ban had any
effect on people´s pub behaviour, and if it did, what kind of effect did it have. A questionnaire for
pub customers was carried through in Baltimore and Skibbereen in Ireland during the summer 2005.

The theoretical part of the thesis concerns Irish culture, Irish people and especially Irish pubs in the
past and in the present. The law concerning the smoking ban is also shortly presented.

Based on the results of this study, the smoking ban really had an effect on the Irish pub behaviour,
but it has not really decreased the amount of people going to pubs in general. The greatest change in
people´s pub behaviour has to do with people moving around the pubs more than they used to. This
causes social changes. Discussions and socialising in general have always played an essential part
in Irish pub culture. Nowadays conversations tend to keep breaking up because people need to go
outside for a smoke every once in a while. On the other hand, nowadays people meet more new
people outside the pubs. This seems to be creating a whole new social aspect for a night in a pub.

Before the smoking ban was introduced, many people felt very strongly against it. Especially
publicans were afraid they would lose a lot of customers because of the ban. But people´s attitudes
have changed and today over 90 per cent of the Irish people are in favour of the smoking ban. Even
the publicans do not miss that old smoky work environment anymore.

Because this study was carried through only in a small part of Ireland, with only a small amount of
people participating in the study, it can not be generalised to cover the whole country. These results
show more detailed, deeper opinions and thoughts of a small group of people. This thesis is
beneficial to publicans and pub customers who want to have information and experiences about the
smoking ban in pubs, because it is only a matter of time before smoking will be banned in Finnish
pubs and restaurants as well.
Ireland, pubs, pub culture, smoking ban in workplaces