Prevalence of smoking restrictions and child exposure to secondhand smoke in cars and homes: a repeated cross-sectional survey of children aged 10-11 years in Wales.
Moore GF., Moore L., Littlecott HJ., Ahmed N., Lewis S., Sulley G., Jones E., Holliday J.
OBJECTIVE: Small increases in smoking restrictions in cars and homes were reported after legislation prohibiting smoking in public places. Few studies examine whether these changes continued in the longer term. This study examines changes in restrictions on smoking in cars and homes, and child exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) in these locations, since 2008 postlegislation surveys in Wales. SETTING: State-maintained primary schools in Wales (n=75). PARTICIPANTS: Children aged 10-11 years (year 6) completed CHETS (CHild exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke) Wales surveys in 2007 (n=1612) and 2008 (n=1605). A replication survey (CHETS Wales 2) was conducted in 2014, including 1601 children. PRIMARY OUTCOME VARIABLE: Children's reports of whether smoking was allowed in their car or home and exposure to SHS in a car or home the previous day. RESULTS: The percentage of children who reported that smoking was allowed in their family vehicle fell from 18% to 9% in 2014 (OR=0.42; 95% CI 0.33 to 0.54). The percentage living in homes where smoking was allowed decreased from 37% to 26% (OR=0.30; 95% CI 0.20 to 0.43). Among children with a parent who smoked, one in five and one in two continued to report that smoking was allowed in their car and home. The percentage reporting SHS exposure in a car (OR=0.52; 95% CI 0.38 to 0.72) or home (OR=0.44; 95% CI 0.36 to 0.53) the previous day also fell. Children from poorer families remained less likely to report smoking restrictions. CONCLUSIONS: Smoking in cars and homes has continued to decline. Substantial numbers of children continue to report that smoking is allowed in cars and homes, particularly children from poorer families. A growing number of countries have legislated, or plan to legislate, banning smoking in cars carrying children. Attention is needed to the impact of legislation on child health and health inequalities, and reducing smoking in homes.