Accuracy of self-reported smoking and secondhand smoke exposure in the US workforce: The national health and nutrition examination surveys

Kristopher L. Arheart, David J. Lee, Lora E. Fleming, William G. LeBlanc, Noella A. Dietz, Kathryn E. McCollister, James D. Wilkinson, John E. Lewis, John D. Clark, Evelyn P. Davila, Frank C. Bandiera, Michael J. Erard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Occupational health studies often rely on self-reported secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure. This study examines the accuracy of self-reported tobacco use and SHS exposure. METHODS: Data on serum cotinine, self-reported tobacco use, and SHS exposure for US workers were extracted from three National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (n = 17,011). Serum cotinine levels were used to classify workers into SHS exposure categories. The percent agreement between self-reported tobacco use and SHS exposure with the cotinine categories was calculated. RESULTS: Workers reporting tobacco use were 88% accurate whereas workers reporting work, home, or home+work exposures were 87% to 92% accurate. Workers reporting no SHS exposure were only 28% accurate. CONCLUSIONS: Workers accurately reported their smoking status and workplace-home SHS exposures, but substantial numbers reporting "no exposures" had detectable levels of cotinine in their blood, indicating exposure to SHS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1414-1420
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume50
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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