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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Exposure to ETS has significantly declined in Finnish workplaces after the first reform of tobacco legislation in 1995. In 1994-98, the prevalence of workers exposed to ETS at work more than 4 hours daily decreased from 32.9 to 3.4%. To assess the ETS exposure among restaurant workers, national survey was carried after the second reform of Tobacco Act concerning restaurants in 2000.
Methods: National questionnaire survey was conducted among restaurant workers (n=3000) and measurements of nicotine in indoor air (n=30) were carried out in a follow up survey between 1999 and 2003.
Results: In 1999, 45 % of female and 49 % of male workers in restaurants reported over 4 hours daily exposure to ETS. In 2003, the percentages had reduced to 29% and 35%, respectively. In 1999, 37 % of women and 21 % of men were not exposed to ETS at work in restaurants. In 2003, the percentages were 44 % and 31 %. Employees of pubs and nightclubs were exposed remarkably heavier to ETS than employees at dining restaurants. The most difficult situation was among bar tenders. Mean concentration of nicotine decreased in 1999-2002 from 14 to 8,9 mg/m3 but increased in 2003 to 11 mg/m3. In 2003, the mean concentration of nicotine was 16 mg/m3 in pubs, 11 mg/m3 in nightclubs and 0.6 mg/m3 in dining restaurants. ETS continues to spread from smoking areas to elsewhere because ventilation is not sufficient enough to prevent the spreading.