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May, 2000:

Passive smoking at work

Department of Community Medicine, University of Hong Kong, 7 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Correspondence to: Dr McGhee (smmcghee@hkucc.hku.hk)

Accepted for publication 4 May 2000

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To estimate the impact of passive smoking at work on use of health care services and absenteeism.
DESIGN: Cross sectional survey.
SETTING: A workforce in Hong Kong.
PARTICIPANTS: 5142 never-smoking police officers in a total sample of 9926.

MAIN RESULTS: A consistently strong association was found among men between length of time exposed to passive smoking at work and self reported consultations with a doctor, use of medicines and time off work. Results for women were similar but most were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: The exposure of healthy adults to passive smoking at work is related to utilisation of health care services and extra time off work. This results in costs to the health services, to employers and to those exposed.