AbstractsMedical & Health Science

The Impact of Tobacco Legislation on Restaurant Workers Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in Finland

by Jere Reijula

Institution: University of Helsinki
Department: Hjelt Institute, kansanterveystieteen osasto
Year: 2015
Keywords: lääketiede
Record ID: 1140294
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/154551


Exposure to tobacco smoke significantly increases the risk of several diseases including cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Prohibition of smoking in workplaces effectively protects workers against occupational exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). However, Finnish restaurant employees have still been exposed to SHS at work until recent years. In 2000, a reform in tobacco legislation was launched in Finland according to which restaurants had to reserve non-smoking areas for their clients. Smoking restrictions proceeded gradually so that in 2007 a total ban on smoking was enacted in Finnish restaurants. In this study, nationwide survey data concerning occupational exposure to ETS in restaurants was used to assess the impact of tobacco legislation. Additionally, the risk of restaurant waiting personnel to develop cancer was evaluated in five Nordic countries. AIM OF THE STUDY: The overall purpose of the present study was to assess the impact of tobacco legislation on the occupational exposure to tobacco smoke in Finnish restaurants. The aim was to compare the effects of partial restrictions and a total prohibition of smoking in reducing the exposure to SHS among restaurant workers. Another objective of the study was to evaluate the risk of restaurant workers to develop cancer compared to that of the general population. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The present thesis collects the data concerning exposure to SHS in restaurant work using national questionnaire surveys conducted in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2010 among Finnish restaurant workers (I, II and III). Each year the surveys were sent to an average of 3000 restaurant employees belonging to the Service Union United (PAM). Study I assessed the data collected with the first four questionnaires (1999-2007). In study II, the main focus was in the results of the questionnaires conducted before and after the launch of the smoke free tobacco legislation (i.e., 2007 and 2009). Study III included data from the questionnaires conducted in 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2010, respectively. Exposure to SHS in restaurant work was assessed also by measuring indoor nicotine concentrations in restaurants in three towns (Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Lappeenranta). The measurements were done in each year when the questionnaire surveys were carried out. Altogether 730 measurements were carried out between 2004 and 2010, approximately 60 measurements in each type of restaurant each year. The measurements were done with sampling devices that were placed for 4 hours in three different types of restaurants, i.e., dining restaurants, pubs and nightclubs, and bar desks. In order to assess the risk of cancer among restaurant workers, data were collected from the database of the Nordic Occupational Cancer (NOCCA) study. It consists of those 14.9 million persons aged 30-64 years who participated in any computerized census in the five Nordic countries, in 1990 or earlier. The longest follow up times were from 1961 to 2005. Among this study population, we focused on the group of waiters,…