Smoke-free laws and adult smoking prevalence

Prev Med. 2008 Aug;47(2):206-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.04.009. Epub 2008 Apr 29.


Objective: To evaluate whether the adult smoking rate changed in Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky, following the enactment of a smoke-free public places ordinance.

Methods: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from 2001-2005 were used to test whether smoking rates changed in Fayette County from the pre- to post-law period, relative to the change in 30 Kentucky counties with similar demographics. The sample consisted of 10,413 BRFSS respondents: 7139 pre-law (40 months) and 3274 post-law (20 months).

Results: There was a 31.9% decline in adult smoking in Fayette County (25.7% pre-law to 17.5% post-law). In the group of 30 Control counties, the rate was 28.4% pre-law and 27.6% post-law. Controlling for seasonality, time trend, age, gender, ethnicity, education, marital status, and income, there was a significant Time (pre- vs. post-law) by Group (Fayette vs. Controls) interaction. There were an estimated 16,500 fewer smokers in Fayette County during post-law compared to pre-law.

Conclusion: There was a significant effect of smoke-free legislation on adult smoking rates.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution