Background: Evidence of the effectiveness of smoking restrictions in workplaces and other public places is creating awareness of the role of bans in private spaces. The purpose of this study was to examine who is affected by strict home smoking bans at the household level.
Methods: Using the 1998/1999 Tobacco Use Supplement to the U.S. Current Population Survey, we examined the characteristics of 43,613 households with two or more adults who responded to the home ban question. Analyses were conducted in 2003-2004.
Results: An estimated 12% of sample households provided inconsistent reports about home smoking bans. Multimember households with smokers were substantially less likely to consistently report strict home bans. Discrepancies vary systematically by smoking behavior, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity. Children living with smokers are especially at risk of inconsistent adult reports.
Conclusions: Analyses should not rely on individual reports of home bans, especially in households with smokers and children. Policies should be directed toward educating members of households with smokers and children about the importance of household bans.