Are Most Children Exposed to Secondhand Smoke?

A new study presented at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore earlier this month reported that more than 75% of fourth graders in urban and rural settings have measurable levels of a nicotine product in their saliva that documented their exposure to secondhand smoke. Additional demographics in the sample of 428 fourth graders and 453 parents in seven rural and seven urban Georgia schools showed that urban children had the most exposure to smoke-79.6% compared to 75.3% in rural, and also found that 14.9% of the fourth graders in urban schools smoked compared to 6.6% in rural schools. Other demographics included children in rural areas more likely to be white and living with both parents compared to poorer families, child living with one parent, receiving health care at community health clinics, and having a parent who smoked in urban areas. The researchers stressed the need for education programs to reduce smoking around young children because of the health problems related to secondhand smoking.

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