Cochrane Summaries

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Does legislation to ban smoking reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and smoking behaviour?

Callinan JE, Clarke A, Doherty K, Kelleher C
Published Online: 
16 June 2010

There has been an increase in the number of countries and states implementing smoking policies which ban or restrict smoking in public places and workplaces. The main reason is to protect nonsmokers from the harmful health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke. Another reason is to provide a supportive environment for people who want to quit smoking. Fifty studies were included in this review. Legislative bans reduced exposure to secondhand smoke. There was no change in exposure to secondhand smoke in private cars after implementing legislative smoking bans. There was no change in self-reported SHS exposure in the home. There are fewer data measuring smoking prevalence and smoking behaviour with either no change or a downward trend reported. There is some evidence that the health of those affected by the smoking ban improved as a result of its implementation, most impressively in relation to heart attacks in hospitals.

This record should be cited as: 
Callinan JE, Clarke A, Doherty K, Kelleher C. Legislative smoking bans for reducing secondhand smoke exposure, smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD005992. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005992.pub2
Assessed as up to date: 
1 July 2009