Variations in support for secondhand smoke restrictions across diverse rural regions of the United States

Frances A. Stillman, Erin Tanenbaum, Mary Ellen Wewers, Devi Chelluri, Elizabeth A. Mumford, Katherine Groesbeck, Nathan Doogan, Megan Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Significant disparities exist between rural-urban U.S. populations. Besides higher smoking rates, rural Americans are less likely to be protected from SHS. Few studies focus across all regions, obscuring regional-level differences. This study compares support for SHS restrictions across all HHS regions. Data: 2014/15 TUS-CPS; respondents (n = 228,967): 47,805 were rural residents and 181,162 urban. We examined bi-variates across regions and urban-rural adjusted odds ratios within each. Smoking inside the home was assessed along with attitudes toward smoking in bars, casinos, playgrounds, cars, and cars with kids. Urban respondents were significantly more supportive of all SHS policies: (e.g. smoking in bars [57.9% vs. 51.4%]; support for kids in cars [94.8% vs. 92.5%]. Greatest difference between urban-rural residents was in Mid-Atlantic (bar restrictions) and Southeast (home bans): almost 10% less supportive. Logistic regression confirmed rural residents least likely, overall, to support SHS in homes (OR = 0.78, 95% CI 0.74, 0.81); in cars (OR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.79, 0.95), on playgrounds (OR = 0.88, 95% CI.83, 0.94) and in bars OR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.85, 0.92), when controlling for demographics and smoking status. South Central rural residents were significantly less likely to support SHS policies-home bans, smoking in cars with kids, on playgrounds, in bars and casinos; while Heartland rural residents were significantly more supportive of policies restricting smoking in cars, cars with kids and on playgrounds. Southeast and South Central had lowest policy score with no comprehensive state-level SHS policies. Understanding differences is important to target interventions to reduce exposure to SHS and related health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Disparities
  • Policy
  • Rural
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Tobacco control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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