Do provincial policies banning smoking in cars when children are present impact youth exposure to secondhand smoke in cars?

Prev Med. 2015 Sep:78:59-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.07.007. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


Objective: To examine youth exposure to smoking in cars following 7 provincial bans on smoking in cars with children in Canada.

Method: Repeated cross-sectional data from the 2004-2012 Youth Smoking Survey (n=91,800) were examined. Using a quasi-experimental design, contrasts of the interaction of survey year and province included in the logistic regression analyses were used to test whether exposure significantly declined pre-post implementation of a ban on smoking in cars relative to control provinces not implementing a ban.

Results: Exposure across all provinces declined from 26.5% in 2004 to 18.2% of youth in 2012. Exposure declined significantly from pre to post implementation of a ban on smoking in cars with children in Ontario at time 1 post ban (Pre-Ban=20.4% T1post=10.3%, OR=0.45), time 2 post ban (12.1%, OR=0.61) and time 3 post ban (11.6%, OR=0.58) relative to control provinces that did not implement a ban. In British Columbia exposure to smoking in cars declined significantly at pre-post ban time 3 compared to the control group (Pre-Ban=21.2%, T3post=9.6%, OR=0.51). No other provinces had a significant change in exposure pre-post ban relative to the control provinces.

Interpretation: Although rates declined, significant differences were only found in Ontario relative to control provinces in the immediate and long term.

Keywords: Children; Policy; Secondhand-smoke; Smoking; Youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Automobiles*
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Smoke-Free Policy*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution