Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1991;17(5):293-301    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1699

Is passive smoking in the workplace hazardous to health?

by Woodward A

Apart from evidence on the acute effects of passive smoking, there is relatively little information available on whether breathing other people's smoke at work causes disease. However, exposure does commonly occur at work, and it does not differ qualitatively from passive smoking occurring in other settings. Therefore it appears sensible to extrapolate from what is known about health risks in settings such as the home. There is too little known to quantify precisely workplace risks due to passive smoking. However, the weight and consistency of the epidemiologic evidence, backed up by the data from active smoking, favor a causal link between passive smoking and serious disease, especially lung cancer. In the light of this evidence, enough is known to justify action to reduce smoking at work.