The effect of comprehensive smoking bans in European workplaces
In recent years many countries of the European Union (EU) have implemented comprehensive smoking bans to reduce exposure to tobacco smoke in public places and all indoor workplaces. Despite the intense public debate, research on the impact of smoking regulation on health, particularly within the workplace, is still very limited. In this paper, we use a Diff-in Diff approach and comparable micro-data -- for a large number of European countries -- to evaluate the impact of national comprehensive smoking bans on both perceived workers’ health and presence of respiratory problems within workplaces. Results show that the introduction of comprehensive smoking bans has a significant effect on workers’ perceived health, particularly on the probability of exposure to smoke and fumes, also when we control for risk exposure. When we explore differences across countries, we find that the impact is stronger in countries starting with relatively worse perceived health conditions at the workplace.
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