Purpose of review: Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in the workplace remains common and has important acute and chronic health effects. The present study reviews the recent evidence linking workplace SHS exposure with poor health and the benefits of smoke-free workplace legislation.
Recent findings: Workplace SHS exposure continues to occur in many parts of the United States and around the world. Occupational SHS exposure has been linked to serious chronic health effects including lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and poor general health. Smoke-free workplace laws rapidly reduce workplace SHS exposure and improve respiratory health including symptoms and lung function. Smoke-free workplace legislation is also expected to reduce the chronic health effects of passive smoking, including cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer.
Summary: Occupational exposure to SHS has serious negative health consequences and will shorten lifespan. Smoke-free workplace legislation should be universally adopted around the world.