From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published November 9, 2011 10:17 AM

Second Hand Smoke at Home

Strong clean indoor air laws are associated with large increases in voluntary smoke free home policies both in the homes with and without smokers according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. These results support the hypothesis of norm spreading of clean indoor air laws. There has been concern that such laws might encourage smokers to smoke more in their homes or other private venues. Children living in a home with an adult smoker may be up to twice as likely to take up smoking themselves. The present study of the U.S. uses the individual-level data from the Tobacco Use Supplements to Current Population Survey to investigate the influence of smoke free workplace and public place laws on the presence of smoke free rules in U.S. homes.


Complete home smoking bans among U.S. households with children and smokers (smoking families) more than tripled, from 14.1% in 1992/1993 to 50.0% in 2006/2007.

However, non-Hispanic white and African-American smoking families lagged behind Asian/Pacifıc Islanders and Hispanics. In 2006/2007, 67.2% of African-American smoking families allowed smoking in the home, as did 59.2% of smoking families with all children aged  14 years.

Bans were more likely among more-educated households and in states with lower adult smoking prevalence; however, these differences were attenuated in some racial/ethnic groups.

According to the study as of 2006/2007, only half of U.S. households with both children and smokers had complete home smoking bans. Home bans were less common among smoking families with older
children, in African-American households, and in Hispanic or non-Hispanic white households in
states with high smoking prevalence.

"Although the aim of clean indoor air laws is to reduce second hand smoke exposure in public venues, our results show that these laws have the important additional benefit of stimulating smokefree homes, with a larger association in homes occupied by smokers, protecting kids and other family members from second hand smoke," says one of the lead investigators Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

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