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Impact of parental home smoking policies on policy choices of independently living young adults


Objective: To determine whether adolescents living in parental homes where smoking is banned are more likely to move into smoke-free living quarters when they leave home.

Methods: We analysed data on 693 youths from a 4-year, three-wave prospective study of a representative sample of Massachusetts adolescents (aged 12–17). All youths resided in independent living quarters at follow-up. The primary outcome was presence of a smoking ban in the living quarters at follow-up. The primary predictor was presence of a household smoking ban in the parental home, assessed 2 years before the outcome. Generalised linear mixed effects models examined the effect of a parental household smoking ban on the odds of moving into smoke-free living quarters at follow-up overall and stratified by smoking status at follow-up.

Results: Youths leaving home had much higher odds of moving to smoke-free living quarters if their parental household had had a smoking ban (odds ratio (OR) = 12.70, 95% CI, 6.19 to 26.04). Other independent predictors included moving into a school or college residence (OR = 3.88, 95% CI 1.87 to 8.05), and not living with smokers at follow-up (OR = 3.91, 95% CI 1.93 to 7.92).

Conclusions: A household smoking ban in the parental home appears to lead youths to prefer smoke-free living quarters once they leave home.

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