Purpose – The present research has three goals: to examine the prevalence of smoke‐free workplace policies; to examine how coverage by a smoke‐free workplace policy differs among racial/ethnic groups; and to examine the impact of smoke‐free workplace policy (SFWP) coverage on health outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – The research uses secondary analysis of data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) from 1998‐2006. Findings – It was found that SFWP coverage is below government goals – especially for Hispanic workers and that SFWP coverage was associated with health outcomes. Research limitations/implications – The relatively slow progress in coverage by smoke‐free workplace policies during the last eight years suggests the possibility that a ceiling has been reached in smoke‐free workplace policy coverage. Limitations include factors that might negatively influence SFWP reporting (e.g. lack of knowledge about SFWP; language barriers), availability of data after 2006, and a cross‐sectional design for health outcomes. Practical implications – The findings suggest that there is health value in SFWP, but that coverage is not at 100 percent and a federal‐level mandate might be necessary to reach that level. In situations where customers are allowed to smoke, it may be more difficult to justify and enforce a smoke‐free workplace policy. Originality/value – This is the first study to examine SFWP coverage by race over time. This study allows for examination of progress toward published SFWP goals.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 29, 2010
Keywords: Business policy; Cigarettes; Health and safety; Personal health; Ethnic groups; United States of America