(HealthDay News) – Many U.S. adults report voluntary smoke-free rules for private settings, such as homes and vehicles, but millions of people are still exposed to secondhand smoke in these environments, according to research published online May 16 in Preventing Chronic Disease.

Brian A. King, PhD, MPH, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues calculated estimates of smoke-free rules and smoke exposure (within the past seven days) using data from the 2009 to 2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey.

The researchers found that 81.1% of adults reported voluntary smoke-free home rules, ranging from 67.9–92.9% across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Many also reported smoke-free rules for household vehicles (73.6%). Some nonsmokers reported exposure to secondhand smoke in homes (6%) and in vehicles (9.2%). Among nonsmokers, secondhand exposure to smoke was greatest for men, younger adults, non-Hispanic blacks, and those with a lower level of education.

“In conclusion, most U.S. adults are protected by voluntary 100% smoke-free rules in their homes and household vehicles,” the authors write. “Nonetheless, an estimated 10.9 million adult nonsmokers remain exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes, and 16.7 million remain exposed in vehicles.”

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