Home smoking bans and urinary nnal levels to measure tobacco smoke exposure in chinese american household pairs

Emiley Chang, Melanie Dove, Anne Saw, Janice Y Tsoh, Lei Chun Fung, Elisa Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Home smoking bans can reduce tobacco smoke exposure, but little is known about the impact for Chinese American household pairs. In this study of 202 household pairs with low acculturation, 53.9% reported a home smoking ban, 31.7% had inconsistent reports, and 14.4% reported no ban. With decreasing home smoking ban enforcement, more nonsmokers had tobacco smoke exposure (66.1%–86.2%) as measured by the tobacco-specific nitrosamine biomarker urine NNAL (4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol). Despite reported bans, about one-quarter of nonsmokers still reported tobacco smoke exposure at home (23.6%–30%) within the past 2 months and three-quarters reported outdoor exposure. In adjusted regression analyses of geometric mean NNAL ratios, nonsmokers in households with no ban had over two times higher levels than nonsmokers in households with a ban: adjusted log NNAL ratio = 2.70 (95% CI 1.21, 6.03). Higher smoker NNAL level and nonsmoker English fluency were also significantly associated with nonsmoker NNAL levels. Nonsmoker levels in households with an inconsistent ban were not significantly different compared to those with a ban. Although home smoking bans were generally associated with lower NNAL levels, tobacco smoke exposure in this immigrant population with low English proficiency was higher than that of the general population. From a health equity standpoint, there is a need for broader implementation and enforcement of comprehensive smoke-free policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7682
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2 2021


  • Biomarker
  • Chinese American
  • Home smoking ban
  • Household pairs
  • Immigrant health
  • NNAL
  • Tobacco smoke exposure
  • Tobacco-specific nitrosamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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