141st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

In This section

286317
On-the-job exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among Massachusetts workers

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Kathleen Fitzsimmons, MPH , Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
SangWoo Tak, ScD , Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Elise Pechter, MPH, CIH , Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Letitia Davis, ScD , Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
BACKGROUND: According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke. In 2004, Massachusetts mandated that all enclosed workplaces with one or more employees be smoke-free. In this study, we assessed whether exposure to environmental tobacco smoke at work (ETSW) among employed adults has declined in recent years and differs by occupation group. METHODS: Annually, adult respondents to the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System who report being currently employed are asked about exposure to ETSW in the past week. Prevalence of exposure was estimated by age, gender, and race/ethnicity, and examined over time from 2003-2010. Prevalence was estimated by occupation group for 2010 only, as this was the one year during the study period for which occupation information was available. RESULTS: From 2003-2010, prevalence of exposure to ETSW among non-smokers declined from 8.0% (SE 0.89) in 2003 to 5.4% (SE 0.49) in 2010. Prevalence was consistently higher among male, non-white, and younger workers. Exposure to ETSW differed by occupation group. Prevalence was markedly higher among workers in Installation, Repair, and Maintenance (37.4%, SE 9.9), Construction and Extraction (22.6%, SE 5.4) and Transportation and Material Moving (19.8%, SE 4.9)occupations. CONCLUSION: Exposure to ETSW in Massachusetts has declined since the enactment of the Smoke-Free Workplace Law. However, exposure varies by gender, race/ethnicity, and occupation group. Certain occupation groups still have exceptionally high exposure prevalence, which raises questions about the role of employers and public health in further protecting workers from this hazard.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke at work among employed adults in Massachusetts, how prevalence has changed in recent years, and how exposure differs by gender, race/ethnicity, age and occupation group.

Keywords: Tobacco, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an epidemiologist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for over four years working on multiple federally funded grants focusing on surveillance of and interventions related to asthma, work-related asthma, and occupational health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.