The aim of the study was to investigate possible effects of a total smoke-ban in Norwegian bars and restaurants (introduced on June 1st 2004) on employees' job satisfaction. A national representative sample was randomly selected from the public registry of all companies in the hospitality business. A baseline survey was conducted in May 2004, follow-up measurements were performed in September/October 2004 and May 2005. Altogether, 1525 employees agreed to participate in the baseline survey. Among respondents at baseline, 894 (59.4%) remained in the sample at the first follow-up and 758 (49.7%) at the second follow-up. Analysis of variance for repeated measures revealed a significant three-way interaction between personal smoking behaviour, attitudes towards the ban before it was enacted and time from baseline to the second follow-up. A small decline in job satisfaction was found between baseline and the first follow-up among employees who were daily smokers and had a negative attitude towards the ban. There was, however, an increase in job satisfaction between the first and second follow-up among the others (non-smokers and smokers with a positive attitude towards the ban). While job satisfaction was higher among smokers with negative attitudes towards the ban than among other employees before the ban entered into force, the opposite was the case one year later. The work environments in bars and restaurants seem to have changed towards being more satisfactory for non-smokers and smokers with positive attitudes towards the ban before it was enacted. In contrast, a small but persisting worsening of job satisfaction was found among employees that were daily smokers and had a negative attitude towards the ban.