We estimated self-reported secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in California at home and at work.
We used data from the 2005 and 2007 California Health Interview Surveys (n=109,809) for home exposure analysis, and we used data from the 2002 and 2005 California Tobacco Surveys (n=12,883) for workplace exposure analysis. Differences in exposure by age, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic characteristics were assessed using Chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression analyses.
In the home, children had the lowest rates of SHS exposure (3.4%), followed by adolescents (4.7%) and adults (6.0%). For all age groups, Hispanic people had the lowest exposure to SHS at home, and black people of all ages had higher exposure rates than white people. In the workplace, 12.9% of Californians were exposed to SHS. Men had higher rates of exposure than women, and rates declined with age. Hispanic people had the highest rates of SHS exposure at work (19.5%), followed by Asian/Pacific Islanders (10.5%), black people (10.4%), and white people (9.7%). Workplace exposure rates were highest for people who worked in stores or warehouses, followed by plants or factories, restaurants or bars, and vehicles.
Despite many years of tough tobacco-control policies in California, people continue to be exposed to SHS at home and in the workplace. The policies that are already in place, such as smoke-free workplace laws, need to be fully enforced. Interventions for reducing SHS exposure should be targeted to the groups with the greatest exposure rates, including Hispanic people, black people, young adults, and those who work in high-exposure settings.