The effect of legislation concerning environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on the short-term health of hospitality workers: A Canada – Italy comparison

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Barth, Delaine
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Background: Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a combination of the smoke exhaled by smokers and the smoke burning from a cigarette, cigar or pipe that is not being inhaled. It contains over 4000 chemicals many of them being known carcinogens and toxins. The recently-identified hazards of ETS have resulted in the implementation of new legislation to protect non-smokers’ health in jurisdictions worldwide. Purpose: This study tests the hypothesis that legislation eliminating ETS from all enclosed public places improves the health of hospitality workers. Methods: This is a descriptive, case-series study, which investigates tobacco smoke exposure in non-smoking hospitality workers in Canada and Italy. Data was obtained by testing workers for levels of carbon monoxide before and immediately after working in venues where smoking was permitted and was not permitted. Workers also provided information on respiratory and sensory irritation symptoms. Conclusion: Legislation eliminating ETS improves the health of hospitality industry workers.
environment, health, ETS