Introduction: Understanding the prevalence of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and the associated factors is beneficial for the formulation of effective measures to reduce exposure to SHS. The purpose of this study was to determine SHS exposure at home and workplace, and its associated factors among non-smoker Malaysian adults. Methods: Data were extracted from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-Malaysia (GATS-M) that involved a representative sample of 5112 Malaysian adults. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between SHS exposure, sociodemographic factors, knowledge on the danger of SHS, and smoking restrictions at home and at work among non-smokers. Results: Among non-smoker Malaysians, age ≥15 years, 27.9% (equivalent to approximately 4.21 million non-smokers) and 33.9% (equivalent to approximately 1.37 million non-smokers) reported that they were exposed to SHS at home and the workplace, at least once a month, respectively. Women (AOR=2.12, 95% CI: 22.214.171.124), young individuals (AOR=3.06, 95% CI: 126.96.36.199), Malays (AOR=2.39, 95% CI: 188.8.131.52) or other Bumiputra ethnic groups (AOR=2.40, 95% CI: 184.108.40.206) and those who worked as other than government employees were more likely to report SHS exposure at home (non-government employee: AOR=1.88, 95% CI: 1.06.3.36). Respondents with a total smoking restriction at home did not report any SHS exposure at home. Similarly, those whose workplace had smoking restrictions were less likely to report SHS exposure at the work compared to their counterparts whose workplace had partial (AOR=3.08, 95% CI: 220.127.116.11) or no smoking restrictions (AOR=15.33, 95% CI: 18.104.22.168). Conclusions: A substantial proportion of Malaysian adults were exposed to SHS at home and at work. The findings emphasize the need for policies on smoking restrictions at work and the need to promote the adoption of a completely smoke-free home, among the Malaysian population.
Study name: Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS-2011)