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Media Messages Can Serve To Reduce Smoking Indoors

Passive smoking which usually takes place at home can be reduced by the health warning ‘Smoking is injurious to health’. An American Journal of Health Behavior// study has revealed this, which stated that smoking at home may be restricted as people realize the harmful effects of second hand smoke.

Secondhand smoke exposure has been linked to lung cancer and heart disease in adults and severe respiratory infections and asthma, particularly in infants and young children. Anti-secondhand smoke media account for 10% of people’s negative attitudes about secondhand smoke, but these negative attitudes explain nearly 60% of home smoking restrictions.

“Media works through changing people’s attitudes to get them to change home smoking rules,” said lead researcher W. Douglas Evans. People may have to process the information they get from the media through family discussions or through one person in a household taking a strong position on secondhand smoke before the change in attitude becomes a change in home restrictions, Evans suggested.

The researchers measured the link between anti-secondhand smoke messages and home restrictions through a survey of 2,348 adults conducted by the American Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit anti-smoking foundation. About 23% of those surveyed were current smokers.

Researchers asked the survey participants whether they had seen news stories or ads about “the dangers of kids being around cigarette smoke” and “efforts to ban smoking in public places,” among other questions. They also asked the participants to agree or disagree with statements such as, “It is harmful to a person’s health if they live in a house where a smoker smokes tobacco indoors” or, “Inhaling someone else’s cigarette smoke can cause lung cancer in nonsmokers.”

Only 11% of those surveyed lived in a house with no smoking restrictions, while 65% of those surveyed had complete smoking bans within their homes.


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