Background: The prevalence of home smoking bans in the United States has increased overtime, but educational disparities have persisted. Little research has explored potential associations between tobacco control policies and disparities by socioeconomic status in home smoking bans. We examined educational disparities in home smoking bans in the United States from 1995 to 2007 and investigated the association between these disparities and statewide tobacco control policies, including cigarette taxes, smoke-free air laws, and media campaigns.
Methods: We used data from the 1995-1996, 1998-1999, 2001-2002, and 2006-2007 Current Population Survey's Tobacco Use Supplement surveys (TUS-CPS) and data on state-level tobacco control policies. Disparities by level of education were calculated, and logistic regressions were estimated to explore the association between statewide tobacco control policies and educational disparities in the adoption of complete home smoking bans.
Results: Between 1995 and 2007, average absolute educational disparities in complete home smoking bans between those with and without a college degree were 8.5 percentage points (pp) and 17.1 pp among nonsmoker and smoker households, respectively. The adjusted odds ratio for education increased among nonsmoker households over time (p < .01) but remained stable among households with smokers. Households with less than college were generally more responsive to antitobacco policies. Antitobacco media campaigns at the state level were associated with reduced disparities by education among households with smokers (p < .05).
Conclusions: More vigorous tobacco control policies at the state level may help promote the adoption of home smoking bans and reduce educational disparities in these protective behaviors.