The influence of passive smoking on pulmonary function--a study of 1,351 office workers

Prev Med. 1984 Nov;13(6):656-69. doi: 10.1016/s0091-7435(84)80015-8.


Until now it has been difficult to ascertain how much passive inhalation of tobacco smoke affects bronchopulmonary function. To answer this question, an investigation involving 1,351 white collar workers was carried out. Information about active and passive tobacco smoke exposure was obtained by a standardized questionnaire. This made it possible to subdivide the overall group into five subgroups: Never smokers, passive smokers, ex-smokers, current smokers, and other smokers. Forced expiratory vital capacity (FVC) and maximal expiratory flow-volume (MEFV) curves were used for lung function analysis. From these curves FVC, forced mid-expiratory flow (FEF 25/75), forced end-expiratory flow (FEF 75/85), and maximal mid-expiratory flow (MEF 25/75) were determined and standardized for sex, age, height, and body weight. Passive smokers evaluated by this method showed essentially no decrease in parameters describing ventilatory function. It is concluded from the dose-and time-effect relationships obtained in active smokers between the lung function parameters and the duration of tobacco smoke exposure on the one hand and the daily consumption of cigarettes on the other that passive smoking in small doses may have no essential effect on pulmonary function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Flow Rates
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution