Passive smoking in the workplace continues to increase despite smoking bans

Despite multiple smoking bans: passive smoking at the workplace continues to increase
Although smoking is banned in many places, more and more non-smokers are exposed to tobacco smoke in the workplace. In contrast, the number of passive smokers has declined in restaurants and bars. Every year thousands of Germans die from the smoke, even though they don't smoke themselves.

Smoking also puts people at risk
Smoking not only endangers your own health, but also the health of others. According to older international data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO), passive smoking kills 600,000 people annually. Studies have shown that passive smoke can mainly cause heart diseases such as heart attacks, respiratory diseases such as asthma and lung cancer. According to a recent study, many non-smokers are still exposed to tobacco smoke in the workplace - despite multiple smoking bans.

Thick air at work
Smoking is being banned in more and more places, but the air is often thick at work.

According to an EU-wide study by the Imperial College in London, the number of people affected in Germany was even higher in 2014 than five years earlier - although public smoking was severely restricted during this period.

The results of the investigation have now been presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Milan, reports the news agency dpa.

Non-smokers must be protected from tobacco smoke
According to the information, 14.8 percent of the study participants in Germany were still affected by passive smoking at work in 2009. In 2014, it was over 20 percent.

However, the scientists could not answer why this increase occurred. They assume that the current protection against non-smokers in the workplace is not sufficient.

According to the workplace regulation, employers in Germany must ensure that non-smokers are protected from tobacco smoke in the workplace.

According to the dpa report, Germany is below the EU average, where in 2014 a total of 27.5 percent of all respondents inhaled tobacco smoke at work. In 2009 it was 23.8 percent.

More could be done with non-smoking protection
Improved protection against non-smokers prevents numerous deaths. However, Germany could do much more here.

So explained Prof. Dr. Heino Stöver from the Institute for Addiction Research at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS) in an older message: "We are one of the last places in Europe for tobacco control."

“In addition, comparatively little is done in Germany for effective tobacco prevention. Germany is the only country in Europe that still allows unrestricted tobacco advertising, that shouldn't be, ”said the expert.

Experts are repeatedly demanding a ban on tobacco advertising. According to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany is still a paradise for smokers.

According to the DKFZ, almost 3,000 non-smokers die every year in the Federal Republic from the consequences of passive smoking. Regular inhalation of smoke therefore leads to heart diseases, strokes and respiratory diseases.

The number of passive smokers in restaurants and bars decreased
London's Imperial College poll referred to indoor work. Around 55,000 people across the EU were interviewed, half of them in 2009 and the other in 2014.

According to a college spokesman, it is "worrying that the number of workers exposed to secondhand smoke in offices, shops and factories is increasing significantly."

However, the number of passive smokers in restaurants and bars declined everywhere, according to the study. (ad)

Author and source information

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