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Prev Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;53(1-2):61-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.05.016. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Parental home smoking policies: the protective effect of having a young child in the household.

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Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard School of Public Health, 9 Bow Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.



To examine selected social determinants of a home smoking policy among US households with children and whether these associations vary by the presence of a smoker and children's ages.


In the 2006/2007 US Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey there were 30,874 parents with 0-17-year-olds.


83.9% of parents reported that no one was allowed to smoke inside the home. However, a no smoking policy varied by the presence of a smoker (93.6% of non-smoking households; 55.8% of smoking households) and children's ages (87.1% of parents with any 0-5-year-olds; 82.1% with 6-17-year-olds only; 79.2% with 14-17-year-olds only). In smoking and non-smoking households, parents of 6-17-year-olds were 25%-46% less likely to have a no smoking policy than parents of younger children. Among smoking households, Hispanic and Asian parents were over twice as likely to not allow smoking inside the home as white parents, while Black parents were half as likely. Parents from more disadvantaged circumstances were less likely to have a no smoking policy.


Parents of 6-17-year-olds are less likely to have a no smoking policy than parents of younger children. Parents with children of all ages should enact a smoking policy that promotes a smoke-free home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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