Background: Smokefree workplace policies have successfully limited indoor exposure to secondhand smoke. However, exposure still exists in other indoor locations, most notably in the home.
Purpose: This paper examines change in the public's awareness of secondhand smoke harm, exposure to secondhand smoke, and prevalence of smokefree home rules between 1999 and 2010 in Minnesota.
Methods: The Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey is a statewide, cross-sectional, random-digit-dial telephone-based survey. The survey measures tobacco use, behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs among adults aged 18 and older in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2010. Analysis was conducted in 2011.
Results: There was a significant decrease in self-reported exposure to secondhand smoke among all nonsmokers in Minnesota from 2003 (60.9%) to 2010 (37.7%) (p<0.05). The prevalence of smokefree home rules adoption among all Minnesotans increased significantly between each time point: 1999 (64.5%); 2003 (74.8%); 2007 (83.2%); 2010 (87.2%) (p<0.05). Although smokers tended to adopt smokefree home rules at rates lower than nonsmokers, the percentage of smokefree home rules among smokers nearly doubled between 1999 (31.4%) and 2010 (58.1%) (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Over 10 years, Minnesotans reported a significant decline in exposure to secondhand smoke and a significant increase in voluntary smokefree home rules. Such a trend is notable as virtually all public tobacco control efforts were aimed at raising awareness and support for smokefree policies within workplaces. These findings demonstrate positive changes in social norms and suggest that behavior change in public settings might also be translated into practice in private settings.
Copyright © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.