From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

The BHETSE Study

Completed       Start date July 2005       End date December 2007


We collaborated with colleagues in Aberdeen and Edinburgh in the BHETSE ("Bar workers' Health and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure") study. This project, funded by NHS Health Scotland, examined the health of bar workers before and after the implementation of the Scottish smoking ban.


We found that bar workers’ attitudes to the smoke-free legislation in Scotland were generally positive before its introduction, and further strengthened after its implementation. The high level of support for the legislation is evidence of increasing acceptance that smoke-free environments are a welcome public health measure. Importantly, most bar workers experienced very large reductions in workplace exposure to SHS as a result of this new legislation. However, they expressed concerns that older men seemed to have had most difficulty adjusting to the legislation and lack of knowledge about the best practices they should adopt in order to reduce the risks of unattended drinks being spiked and of anti-social behaviour associated with patrons moving outside to smoke.


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Ayres J, Semple S, MacCalman L, Dempsey S, Hilton S, Hurley J, Miller BG, Naji A, Petticrew M. Bar workers' health and environmental tobacco smoke exposure (BHETSE): symptomatic improvement in bar staff following smoke-free legislation in Scotland. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2009;66:339-46

pubmed  open access  


Hilton S, Cameron J, MacLean A, Petticrew M. Observations from behind the bar: changing patrons' behaviours in response to smoke-free legislation in Scotland. BMC Public Health 2008;8:238

pubmed  open access  


Hilton S, Semple S, Miller BG, MacCalman L, Petticrew M, Dempsey S, Naji A, Ayres JG. Expectations and changing attitudes of bar workers before and after the implementation of smoke-free legislation in Scotland. BMC Public Health 2007;7:206

pubmed  open access  

Petticrew M, Semple S, Hilton S, Creely K, Eadie D, Ritchie D, Ferrell C, Christopher Y, Hurley F. Covert observation in practice: lessons from the evaluation of the prohibition of smoking in public places in Scotland. BMC Public Health 2007;7:204

pubmed  open access  

Semple S, Maccalman L, Naji Audrey A, Dempsey S, Hilton S, Miller B, Ayres JG. Bar workers' exposure to second-hand smoke: the effect of Scottish smoke-free legislation on occupational exposure. Annals of Occupational Hygiene 2007;51:571-580

pubmed  open access  

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