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Scand J Public Health. 2010 Nov;38(7):724-30. doi: 10.1177/1403494810379168. Epub 2010 Aug 5.

The impact of Finnish tobacco legislation on restaurant workers' exposure to tobacco smoke at work.

Author information

  • 1Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland. kari.reijula@TTL.fi

Abstract

AIMS:

To evaluate the impact of Finnish tobacco legislation concerning restaurants, questionnaire surveys were carried out four times between 1999 and 2007. Their purpose was to assess the effects of the legislation on employees' exposure to tobacco smoke in bars and restaurants in Finland before the total prohibition of smoking.

METHODS:

National questionnaire surveys on reported exposure to tobacco smoke among restaurant workers were conducted in 1999, 2001, 2003, and in the spring of 2007 just before the total smoking ban.

RESULTS:

The data show that smoking is more common among restaurant workers than in the Finnish population in general. Reported exposure to tobacco smoke in bars and restaurants declined slowly after the launch of the renewed Tobacco Act. Between 1999 and 2007, it decreased from 73% to 43% among waiters who were exposed for over four hours per work shift and from 93% to 67% among bartenders. At the same time, non-exposed waiters increased from 15% to 39% and bartenders from 5% to 10%. The number of daily smoked cigarettes, however, remained the same among restaurant workers during the seven-year follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that the reform of the Finnish tobacco legislation in 2000, which did not totally prohibit smoking in restaurants, decreased the exposure to environmental tobacco smoke but was not sufficiently effective in protecting restaurant workers from occupational exposure to tobacco smoke.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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