Purpose: To determine the prevalence of tobacco use among Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) employees and the effect of the smoke-free policy on smoking behavior and air quality at work.
Design: A stratified telephone survey of 1181 CDC/ATSDR employees randomly selected from employee rosters.
Setting: CDC/ATSDR work sites in Atlanta, Georgia, and other major CDC locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Subjects: Randomly selected employees of CDC/ATSDR1, or about 22% of the total CDC/ATSDR population; 98% of eligible persons selected agreed to participate.
Measures: Demographic and smoking history variables, attitudes toward and impact of the smoke-free policy on smoking behavior, and self-report changes in air quality were the measures used.
Results: Overall cigarette smoking prevalence was only 11.1%. One percent reported using chewing tobacco, 1.1% reported smoking a pipe, and 1.4% reported smoking cigars. Average self-reported, daily cigarette consumption significantly decreased after the smoking ban took effect. Overall, 90% of the employees supported the smoke-free policy, and 80% of the employees believed that smokers were complying with the smoke-free policy. Most employees believed that the air quality of work areas and nonwork areas (65% and 69%, respectively) had improved since the smoke-free policy was implemented.
Conclusions: These findings are consistent with previous evaluations of smoke-free policies and suggest that most employees are generally supportive of workplace smoking restrictions. Such policies can also have a positive impact on smoking behavior and perceived air quality.