Although there has been a smoking ban across the UK for more than 15 years making it illegal to smoke in many workplaces there are still some circumstances where workers are being exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS) at work, this includes nurses and allied health professionals who regularly visit clients at home to provide care. Angus et al has highlighted the need to explore the frequency and level of exposure to SHS.

Recommendations from the RCN have not been updated for over 15 years2 however these did provide some recommendations for staff and managers working in the community. The focus was on patient education to reinforce the need to provide staff with a smoke free space (for at least 1 hr) and encouraging patients not to smoke during a home visit. More recently in Scotland there was a public health campaign to encourage individuals to smoke outside to protect families and children from SHS and highlighting the time taken for a room to clear took over 5 hours in more than 20% of cases.

Healthcare workers who visit homes where smoking takes place may face comparable concentrations of SHS to those experienced by non-smokers who live with a partner or spouse who smokes. Living with a smoker is estimated to increase the risk of common illnesses/events such as heart attack, stroke and lung cancer by about 20-30% .

This study will identify the experiences of nurses visiting patients in the community and their potential exposure to secondhand smoke

  • Start Date:

    8 January 2024

  • End Date:

    31 July 2024

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists

  • Value:


Project Team