Second-hand smoke prevalence in 252 regions of South Korea in three exposure locations

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Abstract

Purpose

The association between regional contextual factors and second-hand smoke (SHS) prevalence is important, but is unclear. This study investigated the changes of SHS prevalence from 2011 to 2013 and explored the correlations of SHS prevalence and regional contextual factors by exposure location.

Methods

The data were obtained from the 2011 and 2013 Korean Community Health Survey and the Development of Health Indicators for Community Health Ranking report. A t-test was used to examine and compare the SHS prevalence in 2011 and 2013 by exposure location (home, workplace, and public places). A correlation analysis and linear regression were used to investigate the impacts of the regional variables on SHS prevalence by location.

Results

The prevalence of SHS in all three locations had a decreased trend overall, but remained high in public locales. There were clear differences in the prevalence of SHS and its change by region between 2011 and 2013. The SHS prevalence in the workplace and public places had increased in the high social and economic characteristic regions, compared to the other regions in 2 years. The SHS had an increased trend in regions featuring a high level of socioeconomic development. It was observed that regional factors affecting SHS prevalence differed in the three locations.

Conclusion

The differences and changes of regional SHS prevalence by location were influenced by specific social contextual factors of the particular region. Local government initiatives regarding special SHS protective measures or tailored regulations, according to specific regional status and location, are recommended, with attention to high socioeconomic regions in particular.

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