Online Program

Evidence of the impact of California's 2007 smokefree vehicle law

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Minal Patel, PhD, MPH, UCLA School of Public Health, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Los Angeles, CA
Ying-Ying Meng, Dr Ph, Center for Health Policy Research, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Hong Zheng, MPH, Health and Human Development Program, WestEd, Los Alamitos
Barbara Dietsch, PhD, RD, Health and Human Development Program, WestEd, Los Alamitos, CA
William McCarthy, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Background. Four states (including California) and Puerto Rico have banned smoking in vehicles when minors are present. Proponents assert that such laws will reduce child exposure to secondhand smoke but evidence for this claim is wanting. If these laws are effective, then children in states with these laws should report significantly reduced exposure to smoking after implementation of the law.

Methods. Using data from the biennial California Student Tobacco Survey (CSTS), we investigated the impact of California's smokefree vehicle law. California adopted the law in October 2007 and fully implemented it on January 2, 2008. Since 2001, the CSTS has been surveying 6th-12th graders about exposure to smoking in a car in the last 7 days. Evidence from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) indicated a secular trend towards reduced child exposure to smoking in cars. We hypothesized that the corresponding trend in California accelerated after the 2005 CSTS administration.

Results. The proportion of California students reporting exposure to smoking in cars in the last 7 days declined 1% per year from 2001 (24.7%) through 2005 (23.8%), but declined 5.8% per year from 2005 through 2009 (18.3%). The corresponding declines for the NYTS were a 4.8% decline per year from 1999 to 2004 versus a decline of 3.2% per year between 2004 through 2009.

Conclusion: The decline in California student-reported exposure to smoking in cars accelerated after California enacted a smokefree car law, significantly exceeding national trends. Results may encourage other states to adopt similar laws.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate that impact of California's smokefree vehicle law for reducing child exposure to smoking in cars exceeded national secular trends.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Legislation, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on tobacco related disease research for over 8 years as a part of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, and have worked in health disparities and cancer prevention for over 10 years. In addition, I am also completing research towards my dissertation in tobacco control research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.