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Am J Prev Med. 2005 May;28(4):331-7.

Secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace.

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Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



Currently, there is little understanding of the relationship between the strength of workplace smoking policies and the likelihood and duration, not just the likelihood, of exposure to secondhand smoke at work.


This study assessed self-reported exposure to secondhand smoke at work in hours per week among a cross-sectional sample of 3650 Massachusetts adults who were employed primarily at a single worksite outside the home that was not mainly outdoors. The sample data were from a larger longitudinal study designed to examine the effect of community-based tobacco control interventions on adult and youth smoking behavior. Participants were identified through a random-digit-dialing telephone survey. Multiple logistic regression and zero-inflated negative binomial regression models were used to estimate the independent effect of workplace smoking policies on the likelihood and duration of exposure to secondhand smoke.


Compared to employees whose workplace banned smoking completely, those whose workplace provided designated smoking areas had 2.9 times the odds of being exposed to secondhand smoke and 1.74 times the duration of exposure, while those with no restrictions had 10.27 times the odds of being exposed and 6.34 times the duration of exposure.


Workplace smoking policies substantially reduce the likelihood of self-reported secondhand smoke exposure among employees in the workplace and also greatly affect the duration of exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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