Dietary intake and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in a worksite population

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 May;49(5):336-45.


Objectives: Nonsmokers who live with smokers have poorer dietary habits than those who live in nonsmoking households. This relationship may be due to shared lifestyle patterns by spouses and family members. However, in order to fully understand the nature of this relationship, it is also important to examine the association between diet and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) at the workplace. Further, blue collar workers' patterns of exposure to ETS both at work and at home have not been studied. The goal of this study is to examine the dietary intake of manufacturing workers as it relates to exposure to ETS at work and at home.

Methods: The Working Well Trial surveyed 10,833 nonsmokers about a variety of health behaviors, including smoking, dietary behaviors, and ETS exposure.

Results: Nonsmokers who had ETS exposure in their household had significantly lower intake of all target micronutrients, compared to those without household exposure. Exposure to ETS at the workplace was associated with lower intakes of vitamin C and fruits and vegetables, but not the other micronutrients examined.

Conclusions: Exposure to ETS was associated with poorer dietary habits. Household exposure was a stronger predictor of intake than was workplace exposure. Because of the antagonistic effects of many components of a healthful diet in relation to the harmful effects of tobacco smoke, these findings have relevance larger than either ETS exposure or diet considered singly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritive Value
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Vegetables
  • Workplace*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Ascorbic Acid