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Despite existing legislation, a large proportion of the European Union (EU) population is exposed to occupational secondhand smoke (SHS). The aim of this study was to explore associations between occupational exposure to SHS and self-reported life satisfaction.
We analysed data collected through the Eurobarometer survey (wave 82.4) from n = 11,788 individuals working in indoor spaces. The sample was representative of the population of the 28 EU member states. We fitted a multilevel logistic regression model adjusting for smoking, age, gender, occupation, area of residence, education, difficulty paying bills, marital status and social class.
27.5% of those working indoors reported at least some occupational exposure to SHS. People exposed to occupational SHS were less likely to report that they were satisfied with the life they lead (adjusted Odds Ratio = 0.72, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.60-0.87). The effect of occupational exposure on life satisfaction did not differ by smoking status, with all interaction terms between smoking status and occupational exposure to SHS not statistically significant.
Exposure to SHS at the workplace does not only have negative consequences on physical health, but it can also impact life satisfaction of smokers and non-smokers. Our findings highlight the need for stricter enforcement of smokefree environments at the workplace in the EU.