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PLoS One. 2009;4(1):e4244. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004244. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

Impact of the Spanish smoking law on exposure to second-hand smoke and respiratory health in hospitality workers: a cohort study.

Author information

1
Tobacco Research & Control Unit, Institut Català d'Oncologia, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. efernandez@ico.scs.es

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A smoke-free law came into effect in Spain on 1st January 2006, affecting all enclosed workplaces except hospitality venues, whose proprietors can choose among totally a smoke-free policy, a partial restriction with designated smoking areas, or no restriction on smoking on the premises. We aimed to evaluate the impact of the law among hospitality workers by assessing second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure and the frequency of respiratory symptoms before and one year after the ban.

METHODS AND FINDING:

We formed a baseline cohort of 431 hospitality workers in Spain and 45 workers in Portugal and Andorra. Of them, 318 (66.8%) were successfully followed up 12 months after the ban, and 137 nonsmokers were included in this analysis. We obtained self-reported exposure to SHS and the presence of respiratory symptoms, and collected saliva samples for cotinine measurement. Salivary cotinine decreased by 55.6% after the ban among nonsmoker workers in venues where smoking was totally prohibited (from median of 1.6 ng/ml before to 0.5 ng/ml, p<0.01). Cotinine concentration decreased by 27.6% (p = 0.068) among workers in venues with designated smoking areas, and by 10.7% (p = 0.475) among workers in venues where smoking was allowed. In Portugal and Andorra, no differences between cotinine concentration were found before (1.2 ng/ml) and after the ban (1.2 ng/ml). In Spain, reported respiratory symptom declined significantly (by 71.9%; p<0.05) among workers in venues that became smoke-free. After adjustment for potential confounders, salivary cotinine and respiratory symptoms decreased significantly among workers in Spanish hospitality venues where smoking was totally banned.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among nonsmoker hospitality workers in bars and restaurants where smoking was allowed, exposure to SHS after the ban remained similar to pre-law levels. The partial restrictions on smoking in Spanish hospitality venues do not sufficiently protect hospitality workers against SHS or its consequences for respiratory health.

PMID:
19165321
PMCID:
PMC2621339
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0004244
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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