Secondhand smoke exposure and respiratory symptoms among casino, club, and office workers in Victoria, Australia

J Occup Environ Med. 2005 Jul;47(7):698-703. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000167285.33870.f9.


Objective: To examine the association between smoke-free policies, exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) at work, and self-reported respiratory and sensory symptoms of workers.

Method: Ninety-one nonsmoking workers recruited from three workplaces with varying smoking policies completed a telephone-administered questionnaire and provided saliva samples (before and after usual work shift) for cotinine analysis.

Results: Mean before-after shift saliva cotinine per hour worked was significantly higher among club (0.42 ng/mL/hr worked) than casino workers (0.18 ng/mL/hr worked) (P < 0.001), club than office workers (0.03 ng/mL/hr worked) (P < 0.001), and casino than office workers (P < 0.001). Casino and club workers reported similar levels of respiratory morbidity and were more likely to have sore eyes (odds ratio [OR] = 5.5, P < 0.01) and a sore throat (OR = 4.3, P < 0.05) compared with office employees.

Conclusion: Air-conditioning interventions reduce, but fail to eliminate, exposure of hospitality workers to SHS. Such exposure is associated with measurable increases in the risk of respiratory symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupations
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Victoria / epidemiology


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution