Background: The relationship between prohibition of smoking at the workplace and smoking cessation was assessed in a national sample survey conducted in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1987.
Methods: Four hundred thirty-nine men and women ages 21 to 65, who were actively engaged in the workforce for at least 20 hr per week and were either current or former smokers, were included in the study.
Results: Quit ratios were substantially higher among women who worked at worksites designated as smokefree compared with women who were allowed to smoke at their workplace. Among men, there were only minor differences between both types of worksites. After simultaneously controlling for age, marital status, and level of education by multiple logistic regression, the odds ratio of being a current smoker (vs former smoker) was 0.80 (95% confidence interval, 0.44-1.45) for men and 0.22 (95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.50) for women working at places where smoking was prohibited (compared with men and women who were allowed to smoke at the workplace).
Conclusion: These results suggest that prohibition of smoking at the workplace may help a substantial proportion of smokers, particularly female smokers, to quit. Prohibition of smoking at the workplace might therefore be a particularly cost-effective public health measure.