Parental Home Smoking Policies

The Protective Effect of Having a Young Child in the Household

This article examines the effect of children on household indoor smoking policies. While home policies on smoking have become increasingly restrictive over the past decades, these policies vary by educational level, smoking status, marital status and income level. Since the primary source of secondhand smoke for children is in the home, it is important to understand how families with children address household smoking.

The authors conducted a multivariate analysis on data from the Current Population Survey-Tobacco Use Supplement from 2006 to 2007. The analysis included 30,874 parents with children at home as the sample:

Key Findings:

  • 84 percent of parents reported that no one was allowed to smoke inside the home.
  • 87 percent of parents with children under five years of age banned smoking in the home as opposed to 82 percent of parents with children between six and 17 years of age.
  • Hispanic and Asian respondents were twice as likely to forbid smoking in the home as White parents, while Black parents were half as likely to forbid smoking in the home as White parents.

This research indicates that parents with young children were less likely to allow smoking in the home than parents with older children.

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