Making workplaces smoke free discourages smoking at home, a joint study conducted by Imperial College London and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) has found.
In India, almost two in three, or 64%, of adults who work in smoke-free environments live in a smoke-free home, compared with 42% of those who work where smoking is permitted. The proportion of smoke-free homes was higher in states with effective bans on smoking in workplaces (15.4% in Chandigarh compared with 67.9% in J&K), reports the study in Tobacco Control, a British Medical Journal (BMJ) publication.
“BMJ suggests that in India there is good evidence that smoke-free laws in workplaces are associated with a reduction in second-hand smoke at home,” said lead author John Tayu Lee, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.
India has 110 million smokers who are mostly men. Over half, or 52.3%, of people surveyed said they were exposed to second-hand smoke at home, with exposure being higher in rural than urban homes, reports the study that used data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in India.
The government banned smoking in all public places, including offices, on October 2, 2008.
“Making offices and public places smoke free also changes social behaviour and brings about substantial health benefits for people,” said Dr Monika Arora, director, health promotion & tobacco control, PHFI.