Home Smoking Bans Don't Always Hold

Disagreement can abound if smoker lives there, study finds

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TUESDAY, July 13, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Smoking might be banned in your home, but don't expect everyone living there to follow it -- especially if they smoke.

A new study found that household residents don't always agree on the extent of smoking restrictions in their home, and disagreement is more likely to happen if at least one of the residents is a smoker.

Residents provided conflicting accounts of strict home smoking bans in 12 percent of 43,613 households surveyed in 1998 and 1999, according to a report in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Disagreements about smoking bans are 60 percent more likely in homes with a current smoker, and 40 percent more likely in homes with an ex-smoker, said lead researcher Dr. Elizabeth Mumford, of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

"Home ban rates are lower and knowledge of these rates is less definitive in homes where bans are arguably most important -- where a smoker resides," Mumford said in a prepared statement.

Disagreements also were more likely to happen in minority households and households with higher-than-average education or income, the researchers found. The mix of a current or ex-smoker and children in the house also increased the likelihood of conflict over a smoking ban.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more about smoking.

SOURCES: Health Behavior News Service, news release, July 12, 2004

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