OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a smoking ban on lung function, fractional exhaled nitric oxide, and respiratory symptoms in nonsmoking hospitality workers.
METHODS: Secondhand smoke exposure at the workplace, spirometry, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide were measured in 92 nonsmoking hospitality workers before as well as twice after a smoking ban.
RESULTS: At baseline, secondhand smoke-exposed hospitality workers had lung function values significantly below the population average. After the smoking ban, the covariate-adjusted odds ratio for cough was 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.36 to 0.93) and for chronic bronchitis 0.75 (95% confidence interval, 0.55 to 1.02) compared with the preban period.
CONCLUSIONS: The below-average lung function before the smoking ban indicates chronic damages from long-term exposure. Respiratory symptoms such as cough decreased within 12 months after the ban.