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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