Link between passive smoking in workplace and lung cancer risk confirmed
An analysis of about two dozen studies has confirmed that passive smoking in the workplace increases the risk of lung cancer.
Led by University of Illinois at Chicago epidemiologist Leslie Stayner, the researchers conducted a statistical analysis of data from 22 studies on the association between workplace smoking exposure and lung cancer risk.
They also analysed workers' level and duration of exposure to passive smoke and their risk of lung cancer.
A 24 per cent increase in lung cancer risk among people exposed to passive smoke in the workplace was noticed, while highly exposed workers had a 100 per cent increased risk of the disease.
Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the analysis report also showed that workers with a long history or duration of exposure to passive smoke had a 50 per cent increased risk.
"We believe this provides the strongest evidence to date of the relationship between workplace environmental tobacco smoke and lung cancer," said Stayner, professor and director of epidemiology and biostatistics at the UIC School of Public Health.
The lead author of the study believes that it has important policy implications for cities and states that have not yet legislated smoking bans in bars and restaurants where there are high levels of environmental smoke.