Smoking at workplace – Legislation and health aspect of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke
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Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Klinika Chorób Zawodowych i Zdrowia Środowiskowego / Department of Occupational Diseases and Environmental Health)
Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Zakład Epidemiologii Środowiskowej / Department of Environmental Epidemiology)
Uniwersytet Jagielloński / Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland (Katedra Prawa Pracy i Polityki Społecznej / Chair of Labour Law and Social Policy)
Corresponding author
Agnieszka Lipińska-Ojrzanowska   

Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Klinika Chorób Zawodowych i Zdrowia Środowiskowego, ul. św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź
Med Pr 2015;66(6):827–836
Tobacco smoke contains thousands of xenobiotics harmful to human health. Their irritant, toxic and carcinogenic potential has been well documented. Passive smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) in public places, including workplace, poses major medical problems. Owing to this fact there is a strong need to raise workers’ awareness of smoking-related hazards through educational programs and to develop and implement legislation aimed at eliminating SHS exposure. This paper presents a review of reports on passive exposure to tobacco smoke and its impact on human health and also a review of binding legal regulations regarding smoking at workplace in Poland. It has been proved that exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy may lead to, e.g., preterm delivery and low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, lung function impairment, asthma and acute respiratory illnesses in the future. Exposure to tobacco smoke, only in the adult age, is also considered as an independent risk factor of cardiovascular diseases, acute and chronic respiratory diseases and cancer. Raising public awareness of tobacco smoke harmfulness should be a top priority in the field of workers’ health prevention. Occupational medicine physicians have regular contacts with occupationally active people who smoke. Thus, occupational health services have a unique opportunity to increase employees and employers’ awareness of adverse health effects of smoking and their prevention. Med Pr 2015;66(6):827–836