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J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Oct;56(10):e86-91. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000262.

Effect of a smoking ban on respiratory health in nonsmoking hospitality workers: a prospective cohort study.

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From the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Drs Rajkumar and Röösli), and University of Basel (Drs Rajkumar and Röösli); Clinic of Pulmonary Medicine and Respiratory Cell Research (Dr Stolz), University Hospital Basel; Department of Paediatric Pulmonology and Intensive Care Medicine (Dr Hammer), UKBB, Basel; Department of Respiratory Medicine (Dr Moeller), University Children's Hospital; Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (Dr Bauer), University of Zürich and Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, ETH Zurich; and Institute for Work and Health (Dr Huynh), Lausanne, Switzerland.



The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a smoking ban on lung function, fractional exhaled nitric oxide, and respiratory symptoms in nonsmoking hospitality workers.


Secondhand smoke exposure at the workplace, spirometry, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide were measured in 92 nonsmoking hospitality workers before as well as twice after a smoking ban.


At baseline, secondhand smoke-exposed hospitality workers had lung function values significantly below the population average. After the smoking ban, the covariate-adjusted odds ratio for cough was 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.36 to 0.93) and for chronic bronchitis 0.75 (95% confidence interval, 0.55 to 1.02) compared with the preban period.


The below-average lung function before the smoking ban indicates chronic damages from long-term exposure. Respiratory symptoms such as cough decreased within 12 months after the ban.

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