Smoking Behaviors Before and After Implementation of a Smoke-Free Legislation in Guangzhou, China

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Background: According to the partial smoke-free legislation implemented on 1 September 2010 in Guangzhou, China, smoke-free did not cover all indoor areas. Some places have a full smoking ban (100 % smoke-free), other places have a partial smoking ban, and homes have no ban. This study aimed to compare the smoking behaviors before and after implementation of a smoke-free legislation. Method: A repeated cross-sectional survey was conducted on smoking-related behaviors with a total of 4,900 respondents before, and 5,135 respondents after the legislation was instituted. For each wave of the survey, a three-stage stratified sampling process was used to obtain a representative sample. Pearson's Chi-square test was used to determine differences of smoking prevalence and quit ratio between the two samples. Logistic regression models were used to examine the associations of a smoke-free legislation with smoking behaviors. Results: The overall daily smoking rate declined significantly from 20.8 % to 18.2 % (p∈<∈0.05), especially among those aged 15-24 years. The quit ratios increased significantly (from 14.5 % to 17.9 %), but remained low among 15-44 year olds. The overall self-reported smoking behaviors in locations with a full smoking ban decreased significantly from 36.4 % to 24.3 % with the greater drops occurring in cultural venues, public transport vehicles, and government offices. Smoking in places with partial smoking bans remained high (89.6 % vs. 90.4 %), although a slight decrease was observed in some of these areas. The implementation of a smoke-free legislation did not lead to more smoking in homes (91.0 % vs 89.4 %), but smoking in homes remained high. Conclusions: These findings highlight the urgent need for a comprehensive smoke-free legislation covering all public places in Guangzhou, simultaneously educational interventions and campaigns promoting voluntary changes in home smoking need to occur.