Objective To examine changes in prevalence and predictors of home smoking bans (HSB) among smokers in four European countries after the implementation of national smoke-free legislation.
Methods Two waves (pre- and post-legislation) of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Europe Surveys, prospective panel studies conducted in Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Of 6396 smokers interviewed before implementation of a national smoke-free policy, 4632 (72.5%) could be followed-up after the implementation and were included in the analyses. Multiple logistic regression models were computed in order to identify factors associated with the presence or adoption of HSB among smokers.
Results Most smokers had at least partial smoking restrictions in their home, but the proportions varied significantly between countries. After implementation of national smoke-free legislation, the share of smokers with a total HSB increased significantly in all four countries. Multiple logistic regressions indicated that having a young child in the household and supporting smoking bans in bars were important predictors of banning smoking completely at home. Prospective predictors of imposing a HSB between survey waves were planning to quit smoking, supporting a full bar smoking ban, and the birth of a child.
Conclusions The findings support that smoke-free legislation does not lead to more smoking in smokers' homes, which is further evidence against the claim of a displacement of smoking into the private home following the implementation of public smoking bans. On the contrary, the findings suggest that smoke-free legislation might even stimulate smokers to establish total smoking bans in their homes.