Open Access Research article

Correlates of exposure to second-hand smoke in an urban Mediterranean population

Jorge Twose123, Anna Schiaffino1, Montse García1, Josep Maria Borras14 and Esteve Fernández12*

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Prevention and Control Unit, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL), Spain

2 Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

3 Organització Catalana de Transplantaments

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:194  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-194

Published: 5 August 2007



To describe the socio-demographic factors associated with exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) in different settings (home, leisure, and workplace).


We analysed cross-sectional data on self-reported SHS exposure in 1059 non-daily smokers interviewed in the Cornellà Health Interview Survey Follow-up Study in 2002. We calculated age-adjusted prevalence rates and prevalence rate ratios of SHS exposure at home, at the workplace, during leisure time, and in any of these settings.


The age-standardized prevalence rate of SHS exposure in any setting was 69.5% in men and 62.9% in women. Among men, 25.9% reported passive smoking at home, 55.1% during leisure time, and 34.0% at the workplace. Among women, prevalence rates in these settings were 34.1%, 44.3% and 30.1%, respectively. Overall exposure to SHS decreased with age in both men and women. In men, SHS exposure was related to marital status, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol intake. In women, SHS exposure was related to educational level, marital status, occupational status, self-perceived health, smoking-related illness, and alcohol intake.


The prevalence of SHS exposure in this population was high. The strongest association with exposure were found for age and occupational status in men, and age and educational level in women.