European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 173, Issue 11, pp 1459–1466 | Cite as

Support for smoke-free cars when children are present: a secondary analysis of 164,819 U.S. adults in 2010/2011

  • Israel T. Agaku
  • Oluwakemi O. Odukoya
  • Olubode Olufajo
  • Filippos T. Filippidis
  • Constantine I. Vardavas
Original Article


Comprehensive smoke-free legislations prohibiting smoking in indoor areas of workplaces, bars, and restaurants have been adopted in most of the USA; however, limited efforts have focused on regulating secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in the family car. The objective of this study was to identify the determinants and national/state-specific population support for smoke-free cars, in the presence of any occupant in general, but particularly when children are present. National data of US adults aged ≥18 years (n = 164,819) were obtained from the 2010/2011 Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey. Among all US adults, a significantly greater proportion supported smoke-free cars when it was specified that the occupant was a child compared to when not specified (93.4 vs. 73.7 %, p < 0.05). Age, race/ethnicity, gender, current tobacco use, marital status, and the existence of household smoke-free regulations all mediated population support for smoke-free cars. Conclusion: While differences within the US population were noted, this study however showed overwhelming support for smoke-free car policies, particularly when children are present. Policies which prohibit smoking in indoor or confined areas such as cars may benefit public health by protecting nonsmoking children and adults from involuntary SHS exposure.


Secondhand smoke Tobacco control Cars Children Exposure 


95 % CI

95 % confidence intervals


Secondhand smoke


Tobacco use supplement of the current population survey


United States



Dr. Israel Agaku initiated the reported research while affiliated with the Center for Global Tobacco Control at Harvard University. He is currently affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health. The research in this report was completed and submitted outside of the official duties of his current position and does not reflect the official policies or positions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


There was no direct or indirect source of funding for the reported research.

Conflict of interest

None to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Israel T. Agaku
    • 1
  • Oluwakemi O. Odukoya
    • 2
  • Olubode Olufajo
    • 3
  • Filippos T. Filippidis
    • 4
  • Constantine I. Vardavas
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of MedicineUniversity of LagosIdi-ArabaNigeria
  3. 3.TIMI Study Group, Brigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.School of Public Health, Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Clinic of Social and Family MedicineUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece

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