Effects of Enactment of Legislative (Public) Smoking Bans on Voluntary Home Smoking Restrictions: A Review

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Abstract

Introduction:

The positive effects of worldwide increases in enactment of legislative bans on smoking in public areas have been well documented. Relatively little is known about the effects of such bans on voluntary home smoking behavior. Meanwhile, private spaces, such as homes, have replaced public spaces as the primary milieu of secondhand smoke exposure.

Methods:

A systematic search of peer-reviewed articles was conducted using multiple databases including Cochrane Library, Cinahl, Embase, Global Health, Health Star, Joanna Briggs, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PAIS International, PubMed, and Web of Science. We examined peer-reviewed studies that considered the impact of legislation-based public smoking bans on enactment of private home smoking restrictions.

Results:

Sixteen articles published between 2002 and 2014 were identified and included. Our results suggest overall positive effects post-legislative ban with the majority of studies demonstrating significant increases in home smoking restrictions. Studies focusing on smoking and nonsmoking samples as well as child populations are discussed in depth.

Conclusions:

Existing evidence indicates an overall significant positive effect post-legislative ban on voluntary home smoking restrictions. While disentangling these effects over space and time remains a challenge, scientific research has converged in dispelling any notion of significant displacement of smoking into the home. Policy makers, especially those in countries without existing public smoking legislation, can rest assured that these types of bans contribute to the minimization of tobacco-related harm.

Implications:

Findings converge in dispelling notions of displacement of smoking into the home as a consequence of legislative bans that prohibit smoking in public spaces. Evidence from the studies reviewed suggests that through their influence on social norms, legislative bans on smoking in public places may encourage citizens to establish voluntary home smoking restrictions, thus decreasing harm related to secondhand smoke.

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