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Prev Med. 2003 Jan;36(1):99-107.

Household smoking bans: which households have them and do they work?

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Office of Disease Prevention and Epidemiology, Department of Human Services, Portland, Oregon 97232, USA.



This study characterized Oregon households according to type and degree of restrictions on smoking and explored whether smoking restrictions are associated with decreased environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure.


A population-based, random-digit-dialed cross-sectional telephone survey of 6,199 adult Oregonians was performed in 1997 to provide baseline data on tobacco use in Oregon.


Seventy percent of Oregon households were composed of nonsmokers only, and 85% of those had a full ban on smoking inside the home. Of the households containing one or more smokers, 38% had a full household ban on smoking. Among respondents with a full ban in place, 99% of nonsmoker-only households reported that no one smoked in the home in the previous month, compared with 91% of households with at least one smoker. In both nonsmoker-only households and those with at least one smoker, full bans were strongly associated with awareness of the harm of ETS (OR = 12.8, 95% CI 7.3-22.3, and OR = 6.6, 95% CI 3.6-12.3, respectively). The presence of children in the household was also closely associated with full bans in the two types of households (OR = 4.6, 95% CI 2.8-7.6, and OR = 3.0, 95% CI 2.1-4.4, respectively). Nevertheless, 50% of households with children and a smoker present did not have a full ban in place.


While the prevalence of household smoking restrictions is high in Oregon, there remains room for improvement, since 50% of households with a smoker and a child present do not have a full ban on indoor smoking. Public health messages that focus on household smoking restrictions may help protect nonsmokers from exposure to ETS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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