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Does smoke-free Ireland have more smoking inside the home and less in pubs than the United Kingdom? Findings from the international tobacco control policy evaluation project

Andrew Hyland, Cheryl Higbee, Louise Hassan, Geoffrey T. Fong, Ron Borland, K. Michael Cummings, Gerard Hastings
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckm054 63-65 First published online: 14 June 2007


Background: In March 2004, Ireland implemented comprehensive smoke-free regulations. Some were concerned this would cause pub patrons to move their smoking and drinking from inside pubs to inside homes. This article aims to assess whether nationwide smoke-free policies are associated with more smoking or drinking inside the home. Methods: Participants were 1917 adult smokers (> 18-years old) from Ireland (n = 582), Scotland (n = 507) and the rest of the United Kingdom (n = 828), which did not have smoke-free laws at the time of the interview, who completed a random digit-dialed telephone survey in February to March 2006. The percentage of alcoholic drinks consumed in the home versus pubs was compared by country as well as the percentage of daily cigarette consumption occurring in the home after work. Results: Irish respondents reported a significantly lower percentage of alcoholic drinks consumed in the home compared to Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, and cigarette consumption in the home was comparable in all three regions. Conclusions: Smoking and drinking in the home was not greater in smoke-free Ireland than in the United Kingdom, where there was not a smoke-free law at the time of the survey. These findings add further support to the enactment of comprehensive smoke-free laws, as called for in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

  • International tobacco control
  • Ireland
  • smoke-free
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