Is there an impact of public smoking bans on self-reported smoking status and exposure to secondhand smoke?

Naiman, Alisa B.; Glazier, Richard H.; Moineddin, Rahim
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p146
Academic Journal
Background: Implementation of smoke free policies has potentially substantial effects on health by reducing secondhand smoke exposure. However little is known about whether the introduction of anti-smoking legislation translates into decreased secondhand smoke exposure. We examined whether smoking bans impact rates of secondhand smoke exposure in public places and rates of complete workplace smoking restriction. Methods: Canadian Community Health Survey was used to obtain secondhand smoking exposure rates in 15 Ontario municipalities. Data analysis included descriptive summaries and 95% confidence intervals were calculated and compared across groups Results: Across all studied municipalities, secondhand smoke exposure in public places decreased by 4.7% and workplace exposure decreased by 2.3% between the 2003 and 2005 survey years. The only jurisdiction to implement a full ban from no previous ban was also the only setting that experienced significant decreases in both individual exposure to secondhand smoke in a public place (-17.3%, 95% CI -22.8, -11.8) and workplace exposure (-18.1%, 95% CI -24.9, -11.3). Exposures in vehicles and homes declined in almost all settings over time. Conclusions: Implementation of a full smoking ban was associated with the largest decreases in secondhand smoke exposure while partial bans and changes in existing bans had inconsistent effects. In addition to decreasing exposure in public places as would be expected from legislation, bans may have additional benefits by decreasing rates of current smokers and decreasing exposures to secondhand smoke in private settings.


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