Introduction: This Canadian study examines the prevalence of smoking restrictions in homes before and after the implementation of a public smoking ban, and their relation to tobacco use and cessation among a cohort of smokers.
Methods: Data were from a longitudinal cohort study of 1,058 smokers in the province of Québec, Canada. Baseline data were collected through a population-based survey conducted 1 month before the implementation of the smoking ban with a representative sample of smokers. Follow-up data were collected 18 months after the ban with a response rate of 68%. Logistic regressions, paired t tests and chi-square statistics were used to examine the factors associated with smoking restrictions in homes, cigarette consumption, and quit attempts.
Results: Many smokers imposed partial or full smoking restrictions in their homes but proportions of smoke-free homes did not change significantly between baseline and follow-up. The presence of young children and nonsmokers significantly predicted full smoking restriction in the home. Knowledge about risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) and skepticism about the efficacy of methods to reduce exposure in the home also predicted maintenance of voluntary smoking restrictions in homes. The uptake of smoke-free homes was not associated with the quantity of cigarettes smoked or quit attempts.
Conclusions: No significant change in home smoking bans was found 18 months after implementation of a public smoking ban. There remains a need for efforts to better inform smokers about health risks from exposure to SHS in homes and the reality that strategies other than a total smoking ban inside the home are ineffective.
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