Smoking bans in workplaces and indoor public places protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke, but the bans have no affect on the amount of smoking people do in their own homes. According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released September 5, that is changing. Smoking in the home is out, living in a smoke-free home is in.
The Centers for Disease Control analyzed data from the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey and found more households had established rules not allowing smoking inside. Households that went smoke-free with at least one adult smoker living there increased from 9.6% in 1992-1993 to 46.1% during 2010-2011. Those households with no adult smokers that established smokefree house rules increased from 56.7% in 1992-1993 to 91.4% in 2010-2011. The report states “increases in smoke-free homes were seen in every state and the District of Columbia.”
According to the 2013 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey “38.4% of middle school students and 43.9% of high school students were exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) in a room or car in the past week.” Other locations the teens reported being exposed to SHS include school, work, public places, and someone’s house. Reports of exposure to SHS in a parent’s car are about even between middle and high school students (6.7% and 6.9% respectively), while high school students report more exposure in someone’s car, 8.0% versus 4.4% for middle school students. When it came to smoking in the home, 8.9% of middle school students and 8.5% of high school students reported that smoking was allowed inside their homes.
“There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke”as thousands of harmful chemicals can “stay in the air for several hours,” according to Smokefree.gov. The best way to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke is to limit their exposure by making your home smoke-free, asking others not to smoke in your car, and avoiding public places where smoking is allowed.
Click here for the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report