The effect of smokers’ harm reduction strategies on the levels of second hand smoke in the home
This study aims to evaluate and measure how exposure to tobacco smoke within homes varies according to smoking behaviour and to assess the value of an intervention using in home measurements for smoking cessation and harm reduction.
There is much debate on the effectiveness of harm reduction strategies, such as smoking outside or by a window, used by parents to reduce child exposure to second hand smoke, with members of the tobacco control community claiming such strategies are ineffective, yet little research has been done to justify this. How such strategies are decided upon and negotiated within households is also open to further exploration.
This study will address these gaps by measuring pm2.5 a known environmental marker used for measuring air quality and a component of second-hand smoke. Four measurements of pm2.5 will be taken from outside the home, in the kitchen, living room and a bedroom of homes, using air particle monitors to take measurements over a week to assess how strategies used relate to levels of second hand smoke in the home and to establish how smoke moves around the home.
There will also be a qualitative aspect to the study which will be conducted following participants having been shown their individual home measurements; this aspect will gather information that will both enrich the quantitative data set and provide insight into how households negotiate which harm reduction strategies they employ and if being shown the measurements has played any part in encouraging further smoking cessation or inspiration to quit altogether.
Public health outcomes will be a determination of which strategies are the most effective (if any) at reducing child exposure to second hand smoke, evidence of how smoke moves around the home and whether in house measurements can be used as a successful means of intervention in smoking cessation.