Objective: To examine the sociodemographic characteristics associated with smoke-free homes (SFHs) in NSW and specify high-risk groups with a low prevalence of household smoking restrictions.
Methods: Data were drawn from the 1998 NSW Health Survey, a computer-assisted telephone interview survey of 17,494 randomly selected respondents aged > or = 16 years across NSW (response rate = 70%). Logistic regression analyses, stratified by smoking status, were used.
Results: Overall, 72% of adults reported having a SFH; 87% of never-smokers, 81% of ex- and 35% of current smokers. The highest percentages of SFHs were reported in households with young children (78%) and with older children (72%) or with adults only (72%). For smokers, SFHs were independently associated with the presence of young children (OR=3.8, 95% CI 3.1-4.7) compared with those who lived alone, but the odds of living in a SFH were only slightly increased for smokers living with older children (aged 6-15) and for those living with adults only (OR=1.9, OR=1.8 respectively). Speaking a language other than English at home, having more than 10 years' education, and being <35 years old were independently and positively associated with SFH. Being employed in smoke-free workplaces increased the likelihood of SFHs for both current and past smokers (OR=1.6, OR=1.2 respectively).
Conclusion: Most NSW homes have restrictions on smoking inside, but more than half the households with children and at least one smoker adult are not smoke free.
Implications: Interventions to shape parents' smoking behaviour around older children are warranted. Strategies need to address never-smokers in communities with high prevalence of smoking and adults with lower levels of education. A continued commitment to workplace smoking bans is important as they may affect household smoking restrictions.