Disparities in exposure to tobacco smoke pollution at Romanian worksites

Dorota Kaleta 1,  
Tobacco Control Department, Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical University of Łódź, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(4):755–761
[b]Introduction[/b]. Differences in the risk of being exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS) in the workplace may occur not only between countries, but also within a country among socio-economic groups. [b]Objectives. [/b]The aim of the study was to examine the associations of exposure to SHS at worksites with selected factors in non-smoking Romanian employees. [b]Material and Methods[/b]. Data on exposure to SHS at worksites and other characteristics of respondents came from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). GATS is a nationally representative household survey of adults 15 years of age or older, using a standard protocol. [b]Results[/b]. Among 4,517 respondents who completed the questionnaire there were 1,333 subjects, including 859 non-smokers who worked in an indoor area outside the home. The prevalence of exposure to SHS was 31.2% among non-smoking male and 23.9% among non-smoking female employees (p<0.05). Employees with primary education had odds of exposure to SHS at work nearly twice as high, compared to the respondents having high education attainment (OR=1.9; 95% CI: 1.2–2.9). Moreover, exposure to SHS at worksites was significantly associated with a low level of support for tobacco control policies among workers (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.2–2.8). [b]Conclusions[/b]. In spite of the increasing presence of smoking bans in public and workplaces, enforcement still seems to be unsuccessful in the occupational space in Romania. In order to reduce SHS exposure in workplaces, strengthening support for tobacco control policies is essential.