Most parents support checking them for tobacco smoke exposure

Mar 21, 2011 By Marty Ray
Tests to measure children’s exposure to tobacco smoke are available but are not currently done as part of routine pediatric health care. One potential barrier to testing children for such exposure has been the belief that parents who smoke would not want their child tested. Credit: Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Sixty percent of parents, whether they smoke or not, said they would like to have their children tested for tobacco smoke exposure during pediatric visits, according to a new study released online on Monday (March 21).

The study, led by researchers at the Center for Child and Adolescent at MassGeneral Hospital for (MGHfC), is the first one nationally to assess whether testing children for such smoke as part of a regular visit is acceptable to parents. It will appear in print in the April issue of Pediatrics.

“The surprising result here is that parents who smoke want their own children tested for exposure,” said Jonathan Winickoff of MGHfC, who is an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the study. “This may signal the general recognition among parents, even among those who smoke, that there is no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure, and their desire to know whether their child is exposed.”

Other research from this group has recently shown that children who live in multiunit housing have a high probability of being exposed to tobacco smoke even when no one smokes in their unit.

Tests to measure children’s exposure to tobacco smoke are available but are not currently done as part of routine pediatric health care. One potential barrier to testing children for such exposure has been the belief that parents who smoke would not want their child tested.

In this national random-dialed telephone survey of U.S. households, conducted from September to November 2006, out of 2,070 eligible respondents contacted, 1,803 (87.1 percent) completed the surveys. Among 477 parents in the sample, 60.1 percent thought that children should be tested for at their child’s doctor visit. Among the parental smokers sampled, 62 percent thought that children should be tested.

“When parents and child clinicians see the actual exposure data, they will be better equipped to advocate for clean air in homes and cars, to encourage landlords to establish smoke-free multiunit housing, and to help get the assistance they need to quit smoking,” said Winickoff.

Explore further: Uruguay begins registering marijuana growers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

More ear infections in teens with smoker at home

Dec 07, 2010

Family members who smoke are more apt to feel it is OK to smoke indoors as their children get older. But in households with secondhand smoke, children between 12 and 17 are 1.67 times more prone to have recurrent ...

Apartment-dwelling children in nonsmoking units still exposed

Dec 13, 2010

Children living in apartments are exposed to secondhand smoke even when no one smokes inside their own unit. This study, released online today by the journal Pediatrics, strongly suggests that housing type contributes to chi ...

Tobacco: Smoking gun for kids' asthma attacks

Jan 28, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Exposure to smokers is still a major cause of asthma attacks in kids, according to results of a poll released today by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s ...

Third-hand smoke: Another reason to quit smoking

Dec 29, 2008

Need another reason to add "Quit Smoking" to your New Year's resolutions list? How about the fact that even if you choose to smoke outside of your home or only smoke in your home when your children are not there - thinking ...

Secondhand smoke a risk for children worldwide

Mar 05, 2008

Parents worldwide are doing little to protect their children from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Exposure to secondhand smoke has ...

Recommended for you

Uruguay begins registering marijuana growers

6 hours ago

Just a handful of people had registered by midday Wednesday to be private growers of marijuana in Uruguay, the first country to fully legalize the production, sale and distribution of the drug.

Tracking spending among the commercially insured

16 hours ago

Recent growth in health care spending for commercially insured individuals is due primarily to increases in prices for medical services, rather than increased use, according to a new study led by researchers at The Dartmouth ...

Taking aim at added sugars to improve Americans' health

20 hours ago

Now that health advocates' campaigns against trans-fats have largely succeeded in sidelining the use of the additive, they're taking aim at sugar for its potential contributions to Americans' health conditions. But scientists ...

User comments : 0