Objectives: Home and work smoking bans at the national and state level in the USA, and their relation to smoking prevalence and to tobacco control policies, are examined.
Data: The Current Population Survey’s 1992/93 and 1998/99 tobacco use supplement surveys are the primary data source, supplemented with information on state level tobacco control policies.
Methods: The national and state rate of bans are estimated, and changes over the course of the 1990s and their relation to smoking rates and tobacco control policies are examined.
Results: The prevalence of work and home bans has increased considerably between 1992/93 and 1998/99. By 1999, over 65% of the population age 15 and above work in places with smoking bans, and over 60% live in homes with bans. We found that states with lower than average ban rates in 1993 tended to have had larger increases in ban rates between 1993 and 1999. We also found that home and work bans became more prevalent in states with initially low smoking rates, and that the growth in home bans coincided with a declining prevalence of smoking. States with higher levels of bans by 1999 also tended to have higher cigarette taxes, stricter clean air laws, and media/comprehensive campaigns in place.
Conclusions: The results indicate that lower smoking rates are associated with higher rates of work and home bans, although substantial progress has also been made by those states with initially low rates of bans. While further work is needed to establish the direction of causality, it would appear that reductions in smoking rates, either through stronger tobacco control policies or otherwise, may reduce exposure to tobacco smoke not only by reducing the number of smokers, but also through increasing the number of firms and homes with smoking restrictions.
- home bans
- smoking bans
- smoking rates
- control policies
- work bans
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