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8 in 10 Households are Smoke-Free, Study Finds

Update Date: Sep 05, 2014 12:59 PM EDT

A new federal report found that around four out of five households ban smoking, reducing people's exposure to secondhand smoke inside the home.

"Considerable progress has been made in the percentage of households that have smoke-free rules," said lead author Brian King, a senior scientist in U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Office of Smoking and Health reported by Philly.

For this study, the researchers examined nationwide surveys regarding tobacco use. They calculated that from 1992-1993 to 2010-2011, the rate of people who reported having a no-smoking-in-the-house rule increased from 43 percent to 83 percent respectively. In households with nonsmokers, the rate of people banning tobacco use indoors in general increased from 58 percent to 91.4 percent over the past two decades. In homes with smokers, 46 percent of them now forbid smoking indoors.

"Because 100 percent smoke-free indoor environments are the only effective way to fully eliminate secondhand smoke exposure, efforts are warranted to educate the public about the dangers of secondhand smoke and to promote the adoption of smoke-free home rules, particularly among subpopulations at greatest risk for exposure, such as those living in households with smokers, in states with lower prevalence of smoke-free home rules, and in multiunit housing," the authors concluded according to NPR.

The researchers reported that the increase in smoke-free households was noticeable in every state and the District of Columbia. The lowest percentage of smoke-free homes was in Kentucky at 69.4 percent. The highest percentage at almost 94 percent was in Utah.

"Since 2002 there has been a marked change in the number of states that have comprehensive smoke-free policies," King said. "We know that these smoke-free policies also influence the adoption of smoke-free areas in private areas like homes. People no longer see it as acceptable to expose nonsmokers to secondhand smoke"

Even though a lot of progress has been made, the authors stressed the importance of making all homes smoke-free. Secondhand smoke has been linked to causing several heath factors, such as asthma and cancer.

The study, "Prevalence of Smokefree Home Rules - United States, 1992-1993 and 2010-2011," was published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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