Smoke-free policies and non-smokers’ reactions to SHS exposure in small and medium enterprises
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Department of Psychology, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, Thessaloniki, Greece
South-East European Research Centre (SEERC), Thessaloniki, Greece
Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2013;26(6):940-8
Introduction: Non-smoker employees can significantly improve the existing smoke-free policies in the workplace by asserting their right for smoke-free air and confronting smoker colleagues. The aim of the study was to assess the psychological and social drivers of non-smokers' readiness to assert their right for smoke-free air in the workplace. Materials and Methods: Twenty-six small-and-medium enterprises (SME) with diverse background were randomly selected, and 284 employees agreed to participate in the study. Our study focused on the responses of 85 non-smokers (M age = 34 years, SD = 7.98, 84.2% worked in indoor offices). A cross-sectional design was used and participants completed a structured anonymous questionnaire assessing background and demographic characteristics, and psychosocial predictors of assertiveness intentions. Results: Although more than half of non-smokers reported they were often/almost always bothered by exposure to SHS, roughly one third of them reported having asked their colleagues not to smoke at work. Regression analysis showed that the effects of distal predictors (i.e. annoyance due to SHS exposure) were mediated by past behaviour, attitudes (protection motivation beliefs), social norms, and self-efficacy. Conclusions: Health beliefs related to SHS exposure, and concerns about workplace health and job performance, social norms and self-efficacy can increase the assertiveness of non-smokers in workplace settings. Related campaigns should focus on communicating normative messages and self-efficacy training to empower non-smoker employees to act assertively towards protecting their smoke-free rights.
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