Nursing research in community-based approaches to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.

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3 Scopus citations


Secondhand smoke (SHS) is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States and a major source of indoor air pollution, accounting for an estimated 53,000 deaths per year among nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke exposure varies by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The most effective public health intervention to reduce SHS exposure is to implement and enforce smoke-free workplace policies that protect entire populations including all workers regardless of occupation, race/ethnicity, gender, age, and socioeconomic status. This chapter summarizes community and population-based nursing research to reduce SHS exposure. Most of the nursing research in this area has been policy outcome studies, documenting improvement in indoor air quality, worker's health, public opinion, and reduction in Emergency Department visits for asthma, acute myocardial infarction among women, and adult smoking prevalence. These findings suggest a differential health effect by strength of law. Further, smoke-free laws do not harm business or employee turnover, nor are revenues from charitable gaming affected. Additionally, smoke-free laws may eventually have a positive effect on cessation among adults. There is emerging nursing science exploring the link between SHS exposure to nicotine and tobacco dependence, suggesting one reason that SHS reduction is a quit smoking strategy. Other nursing research studies address community readiness for smoke-free policy, and examine factors that build capacity for smoke-free policy. Emerging trends in the field include tobacco free health care and college campuses. A growing body of nursing research provides an excellent opportunity to conduct and participate in community and population-based research to reduce SHS exposure for both vulnerable populations and society at large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-391
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual review of nursing research
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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