Bar workers' health and environmental tobacco smoke exposure (BHETSE): symptomatic improvement in bar staff following smoke-free legislation in Scotland

Ayres, J.G., Semple, S., MacCalman, L., Dempsey, S., Hilton, S. , Hurley, J.F., Miller, B.G., Naji, A. and Petticrew, M. (2009) Bar workers' health and environmental tobacco smoke exposure (BHETSE): symptomatic improvement in bar staff following smoke-free legislation in Scotland. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 66(5), pp. 339-346. (doi:10.1136/oem.2008.040311)

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Abstract

Objective: To examine changes in the health of bar workers after smoke-free legislation was introduced.<p></p> Design: Longitudinal study following bar workers from before legislation introduction, at 2 months after introduction and at 1 year to control for seasonal differences.<p></p> Setting: Bars across a range of socio-economic settings in Scotland.<p></p> Participants: 371 bar workers recruited from 72 bars.<p></p> Intervention: Introduction of smoke-free legislation prohibiting smoking in enclosed public places, including bars.<p></p> Main outcomes measures: Change in prevalence of self-reported respiratory and sensory symptoms.<p></p> Results: Of the 191 (51%) workers seen at 1-year follow-up, the percentage reporting any respiratory symptom fell from 69% to 57% (p = 0.02) and for sensory symptoms from 75% to 64% (p = 0.02) following reductions in exposure, effects being greater at 2 months, probably partly due to seasonal effects. Excluding respondents who reported having a cold at either baseline or 1 year, the reduction in respiratory symptoms was similar although greater for “any” sensory symptom (69% falling to 54%, p = 0.011). For non-smokers (n = 57) the reductions in reported symptoms were significant for phlegm production (32% to 14%, p = 0.011) and red/irritated eyes (44% to 18%, p = 0.001). Wheeze (48% to 31%, p = 0.006) and breathlessness (42% to 29%, p = 0.038) improved significantly in smokers. There was no relationship between change in salivary cotinine levels and change in symptoms.<p></p> Conclusions: Bar workers in Scotland reported significantly fewer respiratory and sensory symptoms 1 year after their working environment became smoke free. As these improvements, controlled for seasonal variations, were seen in both non-smokers and smokers, smoke-free working environments may have potentially important benefits even for smokers.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hilton, Professor Shona
Authors: Ayres, J.G., Semple, S., MacCalman, L., Dempsey, S., Hilton, S., Hurley, J.F., Miller, B.G., Naji, A., and Petticrew, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
ISSN:1351-0711
ISSN (Online):1470-7926

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