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Ann Occup Environ Med. 2019 Jan 28;31:3. doi: 10.1186/s40557-019-0282-z. eCollection 2019.

Second hand smoke exposure in workplace by job status and occupations.

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Work Environment Research Bureau, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, 400, Jongga-ro, Jung-gu, Ulsan, Republic of Korea.
2Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School of Public Health, and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, 08826 Republic of Korea.



The objective of this study is to evaluate the risk of exposure to second hand smoke (SHS) during working hours by job status and occupation.


Using the 4th Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS), 49,674 respondents who answered the question about SHS were studied. A chi-square test was carried out to determine whether there is a significant different in SHS exposure frequency by general and occupational characteristics and experience of discrimination at work and logistic regression analysis was carried out to identify the risk level of SHS exposure by variables.


In this study, we found that male workers in their 40s and 50s, workers employed in workplaces with fewer than 50 employees, daily workers, and people working outdoors had a higher rate of exposure to SHS than the others. The top five occupations with the highest SHS exposure were construction and mining-related occupations, metal core-makers-related trade occupations, wood and furniture, musical instrument, and signboard-related trade occupations, transport and machine-related trade occupations, transport and leisure services occupations. The least five exposed occupations were public and enterprise senior officers, legal and administrative professions, education professionals, and health, social welfare, and religion-related occupations.


Tobacco smoke is a significant occupational hazard. Smoking ban policy in the workplace can be a very effective way to reduce the SHS exposure rate in the workplace and can be more effective if specifically designed by the job status and various occupations.


Job status; Occupations; Second hand smoke exposure; Smoking ban

Conflict of interest statement

Not applicable.Not applicable.The authors declare that they have no competing interests.Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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