This study was undertaken to assess the pulmonary and respiratory problems of workers in a zarda factory. A total of 70 permanent zarda workers (50 manufacturing workers and 20 office ones) were studied in a factory in Baguihati, Kolkata, India. The study included (a) completion of a questionnaire (on pulmonary and respiratory problems), (b) measurement of physical parameters, (c) spirometry and (d) measurement of peak expiratory flow rate. At the same time, the worksite was analyzed with an OSHA-recommended ergonomics checklist. Many zarda manufacturing workers complained of respiratory symptoms. Continuous exposure to the tobacco processing environment reduced the workers’ lung volume and peak expiratory flow rates. Our study indicates that zarda manufacturing workers may have respiratory and pulmonary disorders related to exposure to tobacco dust in their work environment. © 2007 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.