Introduction and objectives: The aim was to investigate the prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure and active smoking in the Spanish population following the introduction of an anti-smoking law.
Methods: This cross-sectional study involved a telephone survey (in June and July 2006) of a representative sample of the Spanish population aged at least 18 years-old (1221 men and 1301 women). The prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure among non-smokers was determined in terms of the context of exposure (i.e., at home, in the place of work or study, during leisure activities, or in transportation) and in general (i.e., in any context). In addition, the prevalence of active smoking in the general population was also determined.
Results: Overall, 74,3% of non-smoking men and 70.1% of non-smoking women had been exposed to secondhand smoke in one of the four defined contexts. In men, the age-standardized prevalence of exposure was 26.4% at home, 39.8% at the place of work or study, 61.1% during leisure activities, and 37.2% in transportation. In women, the prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure was 31.4% at home, 30.7% at the place of work or study, 51.9% during leisure activities, and 45.5% in transportation. Prevalence of active smoking was 26.7% of men and 21.1% of women.
Conclusions: One-third of the Spanish non-smoking population are still exposed to second hand smoke in their work place or study center despite the ban introduced by the new law.