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Tob Control. 2005 Feb; 14(1): 43–48.
PMCID: PMC1747974

Strength of clean indoor air laws and smoking related outcomes in the USA


Objectives: Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is often encountered in the workplace. There have been efforts to apply and enforce state laws limiting workplace smoking. There has been little study of the relative effectiveness of state and/or local laws in affecting both rates of workplace ETS exposure and adult smoking rates. This study investigates these hypotheses, as well as the effect of these laws on youth smoking.

Design: This is a secondary data analysis using sources including the Current Population Survey (CPS), Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and the National Household Survey of Drug Abuse (NHSDA) between the years of 1996 and 1999. Linear regression models were used to investigate the effect of a state's clean indoor air (CIA) law (using a measure of extensiveness) on the overall amount of people who reported working in a smoke-free environment, youth smoking rates and adult smoking rates.

Results: The extensiveness of a state's CIA law was found to be a reliable predictor of the percentage of indoor workers who report a smoke-free work environment and the rates of youth smoking. State CIA laws were not conclusively associated with adult smoking rates.

Conclusions: The extensiveness of a state's CIA law is strongly associated with a higher percentage of indoor workers reporting a smoke-free work environment. This study did not reveal a similar association between local laws and smoke-free work environments. Youth smoking rates, shown to be related to state CIA laws, may be further affected with more stringent CIA policy.

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Selected References

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