Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoking parents often expose children to tobacco smoke in their cars

Date:
November 12, 2012
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
A new study suggests that parents may not recognize the dangers of smoking in their cars with a child present.

MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) investigators found that a majority of interviewed smoking parents exposed their children to tobacco smoke in their cars, even though many had smoke-free policies at home. The study that will appear in the December 2012 issue of Pediatrics and has been released online, suggests that parents may not recognize the dangers of smoking in their cars with a child present.

"Workplaces, restaurants, homes and even bars are mostly smoke-free, but cars have been forgotten," says Emara Nabi-Burza, MBBS, MS, the study's lead author. "Smoking in cars is not safe for motorists and nonsmokers -- especially children, who have no way to avoid tobacco smoke exposure in their parent's car. Now that we know the magnitude of the problem, pediatricians and the public can act to help these children." Nabi-Burza is an investigator with the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy at MGHfC.

The authors write that tobacco smoke can contribute to an increased risk of respiratory infections, cancer and even death in children. Homes have traditionally been considered the main indoor source of smoke exposure for children, but recent studies have found elevated levels of tobacco smoke contaminants in cars, says Nabi-Burza, noting that children may spend a considerable amount of time in their family's car.

In the study, researchers interviewed 795 smoking parents about their car-smoking policy and behavior, including whether they exposed their children to tobacco smoke in their cars. The participants were interviewed while exiting from their child's doctors' office in one of 10 pediatric practices in eight states. Seventy-three percent of the parents admitted that someone had smoked in their car in the past 3 months. Of the 562 parents who did not have a smoke-free car policy, 48 percent smoked in the car when their children were present. Most parents adopted a "strictly enforced" smoke-free policy in their homes, but only 24 percent of parents had a strictly enforced smoke-free policy for their cars.

Only about one-fifth of the parents reported being asked by a pediatric health care provider about their smoking status. Few of the parents who smoked (12 percent) were advised by the provider to avoid smoking in their cars. This is the first known study to examine the rates at which pediatricians address smoking in cars; and due to the low percentage of parents counseled on this issue, the authors conclude that pediatricians should address tobacco use with parents and encourage them to have strict smoke-free home and car policies to help reduce tobacco smoke exposure of children.

Because of their role in advocating for children's health, Nabi-Burza says pediatricians have the unique opportunity to counsel parents on creating a strict smoke-free car policy.

"An infant strapped in a car seat cannot advocate effectively for herself in the face of parental tobacco addiction. The pediatrician can help the parent set a no-smoking policy in the car," says Jonathan P. Winickoff, MD, MPH, the study's senior author. He is an associate professor of Pediatrics and Nabi-Burza is a research associate in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Smoking parents often expose children to tobacco smoke in their cars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171437.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2012, November 12). Smoking parents often expose children to tobacco smoke in their cars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171437.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Smoking parents often expose children to tobacco smoke in their cars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171437.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

AFP (July 24, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th - prompting hundreds in Virginia to turn out for a free clinic run by “Remote Area Medical”. Duration 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins