IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 9719: Home Tobacco Use Policies and Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke: Findings from Waves 1 through 4 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background: The 2006 Surgeon General`s Report recommended the elimination of smoking in homes as an effective protective measure against the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco smoke exposure. This study aims to examine trends in the prevalence and levels of the adoption of home tobacco use policies specifically for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and the relationships between home tobacco use policies and self-reported exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. Methods: This study utilizes data from Wave 1 (2013–2014) through Wave 4 (2016–2018) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, a large prospective cohort study of youths and adults in the United States which collected information about both smoke-free and tobacco-free home policies. We present the weighted, population-based, self-reported prevalence of home tobacco use policies overall and by product, and the average number of self-reported hours of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure by levels of home tobacco policy and by survey wave. In addition, we examine the characteristics of those who adopted (by yes or no) a home tobacco use ban between survey waves. Results: We found a high prevalence of completely tobacco-free home policies (69.5%). However, 10.6% of adults allow the use of any type of tobacco product inside their homes, and 19.8% have a policy allowing the use of some types of tobacco products and banning the use of others. Adults with a complete tobacco use ban inside their homes were more likely to be nonusers of tobacco (79.9%); living with children in the home (71.8%); at or above the poverty level (70.8%); non-white (76.0%); Hispanic (82.7%); and aged 45 or older (71.9%). The adoption of 100% tobacco-free home policies is associated with a 64% decrease in secondhand smoke exposure among youths and a 69% decrease in exposure among adults. Conclusions: Most US adults have implemented tobacco-free home policies; however, there is still exposure to SHS in the home, for both adults and children, particularly in the homes of tobacco users. Additional research should investigate tobacco-free home policies for different types of products and what effect they have on future tobacco use behaviors.