Objectives: To measure changes in prevalence and predictors of home smoking bans (HSBs) among smokers in four European countries after the implementation of national smoke-free legislation.
Design: Two waves of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project Europe Surveys, which is a prospective panel study. Pre- and post-legislation data were used from Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Two pre-legislation waves from the UK were used as control.
Participants: 4634 respondents from the intervention countries and 1080 from the control country completed both baseline and follow-up and were included in the present analyses.
Methods: Multiple logistic regression models to identify predictors of having or of adopting a total HSB, and Generalised Estimating Equation models to compare patterns of change after implementation of smoke-free legislation to a control country without such legislation.
Results: Most smokers had at least partial smoking restrictions in their home, but the proportions varied significantly between countries. After implementation of national smoke-free legislation, the proportion of smokers with a total HSB increased significantly in all four countries. Among continuing smokers, the number of cigarettes smoked per day either remained stable or decreased significantly. Multiple logistic regression models indicated that having a young child in the household and supporting smoking bans in bars were important correlates of having a pre-legislation HSB. Prospective predictors of imposing a HSB between survey waves were planning to quit smoking, supporting a total smoking ban in bars and the birth of a child. Generalised Estimating Equation models indicated that the change in total HSB in the intervention countries was greater than that in the control country.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that smoke-free legislation does not lead to more smoking in smokers' homes. On the contrary, our findings demonstrate that smoke-free legislation may stimulate smokers to establish total smoking bans in their homes.
Keywords: Impact of smoke-free legislation; advocacy; cessation; environmental tobacco smoke; home smoking restrictions; packaging and labelling; prevalence; prevention; prospective study; psychosocial theories; public opinion; public policy; research methods; second-hand smoke; smoking-caused disease; social psychology; socioeconomic status; surveillance and monitoring.