search for



Cross mark




CrossRef (0)
Knowledge and Attitude toward Smoke Free Legislation for Workplaces and Secondhand Smoke Exposure Level among Workers in South Korea
Journal of the Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 2015; 6(2): 86-101
Published online July 15, 2015
© 2015 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Sol Yu, Sungroul Kim*

Department of Environmental of Health Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Korea
Received June 15, 2015; Revised July 8, 2015; Accepted July 8, 2015.
Background: The guidelines for Article 8 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) introduce the need for protection from secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in indoor workplaces and public places. Our survey was conducted to assess the knowledge and attitude of workers to smoke free legislations in general and the smoke ban policy of their workplaces.
Methods: We randomly recruited 404 participants in Seoul and near satellite cities from September to November 2013. Our questionnaires included sections on knowledge and attitude to the national smoke free law. We also asked workers exposure experience to SHS at their workplaces.
Results: Among all participants, 283 respondents (70%) reported that they were aware for the national smoking ban legislation. Support of the national smoking free legislation was high; restaurants (77% in smokers or 75% in nonsmokers, P=0.657) or PC rooms (68% or 70%, P=0.608). However, 41% of workers out of those (n=266) who provided full responses to our questionnaires, reported that they had been exposed to tobacco smoke at their workplaces within past week. Although 166 workers reported that a complete smoking ban policy was being implemented in their workplaces, 57 workers reported that they could smell tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, 37 workers reported that there are no smoke-free policies, and the rest reported that they did not know whether or not a smoking ban policy exists in their workplaces.
Conclusion: Our study provides potential evidence that support the introduction of stronger smoking ban policies in workplaces.
Keywords : Secondhand smoke; Smoking; Exposure; Tobacco smoke; Workplace
  1. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Statistics 2013: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [cited 2015 Jun 4].
    Available from:
  2. Ministry of Health & Welfare. Law for the Promotion of Nation셲 Health Enforcement Ordinanace Article 6. implemented 2012. 12. 7. Sejong, South Korea.
  3. Jeong YH, Ko SJ, Composite Indicator for Tobacco Control Policy in Korea, Health and welfare policy forum, no.211, 2014 May; p.70-84.
  4. WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Guidelines for implementation of Article 8; [cited 2015 Jun 4].
  5. Lee GS, Workplace Smoking Cessation Policy. Health and welfare policy forum, no.129, 2007 Jul; p.43-9.
  6. Office of Tobacco Control, Smoke-Free Workplaces in Ireland A One-Year Review, 2005; p.4-10. [cited 2015 Jun 3].
  7. Nagelhout GE, Willemsen MC, de Vries H. The population impact of smoke-free workplace and hospitality industry legislation on smoking behaviour. Findings from a national population survey. Addiction 2011;106(4): 816-23.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  8. Tabuchi T, Hoshino T, Nakayama T. Are partial workplace smoking bans as effective as complete smoking bans? A national population-based study of smoke-free policy among Japanese employees. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015; 1-9. Epub 2015 May 25.
  9. Tabuchi T, Hoshino T, Hama H, Nakata-Yamada K, Ito Y, Ioka A et al. Complete workplace indoor smoking ban and smoking behavior among male workers and female nonsmoking workers' husbands: a pseudo cohort study of Japanese public workers. Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:303917. Epub 2014 Mar 24.
  10. Zdanowska J, Stangierski A, Warmuz-Stangierska I, Czarnywojtek A, Rucha흢a M. The problem of cigarette smoking in the workplace. Przegl Lek. 2012; 69(10):1144-6.
  11. Gan WQ, Mannino DM, Jemal A. Socioeconomic disparities in secondhand smoke exposure among US never-smoking adults: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988-2010. Tob Control. 2014; Epub 2014 Jul 11.
  12. Verdonk-Kleinjan WM, Knibbe RA, Tan FE, Willemsen MC, de Groot HN, de Vries H. Does the workplace-smoking ban eliminate differences in risk for environmental tobacco smoke exposure at work?. Health Policy 2009; 92(2-3): 197-202.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  13. Skeer M, Cheng DM, Rigotti NA, Siegel M. Secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace. Am J Prev Med 2005; 28(4); 331-7.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  14. Ronald C, The Economic Impact of Smoke-Free Workplaces: An Assessment for Newfoundland & labrador, Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada; 2003. p. 34-9.
  15. Fong GT, Craig LV, Guignard R, Nagelhout GE, Tait MK, Driezen P et al. Evaluation of the smoking ban in public places in France one year and five years after its implementation: Findings from the ITC France survey. Bull Epidemiol Hebd 2013; 20(21): 217-23.
  16. Savage M. Smoking outside: the effect of the Irish workplace smoking ban on smoking prevalence among the employed. Health Econ Policy Law 2014; 9(4): 407-24.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  17. Hackshaw L, McEwen A, West R, Bauld L. Quit attempts in response to smoke-free legislation in England. Tob Control 2010; 19(2): 160-4.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  18. Giraldi G, Fovi De Ruggiero G, Cattaruzza MS, Camilli F, Dionette P, Osborn JF et al. Perception of smoke-free policies among workers in an Italian Local Health Agency: survey of opinions, knowledge and behaviours. Ann Ig 2013; 25(5): 397-409.
  19. Puchalski K, Korzeniowska E. Actions reducing tobacco smoking at the workplace--do larger and richer companies solve the problem better?. Med Pr 2012; 63(3): 257-70.
  20. Statistical Research Institute, Korea Social Trends 2014; p.107-14. [cited 2015 Jun 3].
    Available from:
  21. Seo MK, The Recent International Trends of Smoke-free Policies:Canada, Singapole, USA. Health and welfare policy forum, no.176, 2011. p.72-9.
  22. Montini T, Bero LA. Implementation of a workplace smoking ban in bars:the limits of local discretion. BMC Public Health. 2008; 8:402.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  23. American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation. Smokefree status of restaurants and bars around the world. [cited 2015 Jun 3].
  24. Hammond SK. Exposure of U.S. workers to environmental tobacco smoke. Environ Health Perspect 1999; 107(2): 329-40.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef