Context: Recent marked increases in adolescent smoking indicate a need for new prevention approaches. Whether workplace and home smoking restrictions play a role in such prevention is unknown.
Objective: To assess the association between workplace and home smoking restrictions and adolescent smoking.
Design, setting, and subjects: Data were analyzed from 2 large national population-based surveys, the Current Population Surveys of 1992-1993 and 1995-1996, which included 17,185 adolescents aged 15 to 17 years.
Main outcome measures: Smoking status of the adolescents surveyed, compared by presence of home and workplace smoking restrictions.
Results: After adjusting for demographics and other smokers in the household, adolescents who lived in smoke-free households were 74% (95% confidence interval [CI], 62%-88%) as likely to be smokers as adolescents who lived in households with no smoking restrictions. Similarly, adolescents who worked in smoke-free workplaces were 68% (95% CI, 51%-90%) as likely to be smokers as adolescents who worked in a workplace with no smoking restrictions. Adolescent smokers were 1.80 (95% CI, 1.23-2.65) times more likely to be former smokers if they lived in smoke-free homes. The most marked relationship of home smoking restrictions to current adolescent smoking occurred in households where all other members were never-smokers. Current smoking prevalence among adolescents in homes without smoking restrictions approached that among adolescents in homes with a current smoker but with smoking restrictions.
Conclusions: Parents with minor children should be encouraged to adopt smoke-free homes. Smoke-free workplaces can also augment smoking prevention. These findings emphasize the importance of tobacco control strategies aimed at the entire population rather than at youth alone. JAMA. 2000;284:717-722