2.4
Assessing the connections between weather, season, and smoking in the home

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Monday, 24 January 2011: 4:45 PM
Assessing the connections between weather, season, and smoking in the home
4C-2 (Washington State Convention Center)
David B. Sherman, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and H. G. Basara, J. B. Basara, and B. G. Illston

In the two decades following the 1986 Surgeon General's report on the dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS), the United States has realized a steady increase in the number of public smoking bans at the state and local levels. Increasing awareness of the dangers associated with SHS has also prompted an increase in home smoking bans over the last decade. However, smoke-free home policies can be a challenge to uphold in homes with smokers. Behavioral studies have indicated that weather may influence the efficacy of home smoking policy, as outdoor smoking becomes less appealing during poor weather conditions. This study seeks to determine whether home smoking policy changes in response to season, abnormal weather conditions, and extreme weather events. Two survey datasets, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, were used to compare home smoking policy with weather data from the Oklahoma Mesonet between 2003-2009. Results indicate that weather is one of several factors that influence decision making about smoking behaviors. To improve the efficacy of tobacco control programs, seasonality should be considered as one determinant of quit success. Therefore, intervention efforts may be targeted more heavily according to seasonality and in response to extreme events.