Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Majority of fourth graders are exposed to smoke, study finds

22.03.2012
More than 75 percent of fourth-graders in urban and rural settings have measurable levels of a nicotine breakdown product in their saliva that documents their second-hand smoke exposure, researchers report.

A study of 428 fourth graders and 453 parents in seven rural and seven urban Georgia schools also showed that the urban children were more likely to be smokers – 14.9 percent versus 6.6 percent. Additionally urban children have the most exposure to smokers: 79.6 percent versus 75.3 percent, according to findings presented to the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health March 20-24 in Singapore.

"It's bad news," said Dr. Martha S. Tingen, Co-Director of Georgia Health Sciences University's Child Health Discovery Institute and Interim Program Leader of the GHSU Cancer Center's Cancer Prevention and Control Program. "Smoking is one of the major causes of low-birth weight infants, it increases the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by 10 times, increases breathing problems, asthma-related hospital admissions, ear and upper-respiratory infections, yet all these kids are living in a smoking environment."

The findings are another reminder to pediatricians to talk with parents and children about smoking habits during every checkup and to researchers that more community-based studies are needed to give parents and children alike the skills they need to avoid or stop smoking, Tingen said. They also indicate that geography and health disparities need to figure heavily into tailoring solutions.

In the study group, researchers found children in the rural areas were more likely to be white and living with both parents; children in urban settings tended to be poorer, live with one parent, receive health care at community health clinics and have a parent who smoked.

At GHSU, young pediatricians such as Dr. Ketarah Robinson learn early to be vigilant and forthright about major health issues such as smoking and obesity with the parents and children they see in clinic, asking tough questions about whether the kids are getting pressured to smoke and if they've already given in. Like the children in the study, some kids say "yes" as early as age 10. Then doctors such as Robinson give them readily discernible reasons not to. "At that age we give them more concrete things like: Do you want to stink and have yellow teeth?" said Robinson, Co-Chief Resident in Pediatrics at GHS Children's Medical Center. Robinson and second-year Medical College of Georgia student Prathyusha Mididoddi will present the rural versus urban findings in Singapore. Tingen, who holds the Charles W. Linder Endowed Chair in Pediatrics, is first author.

Mididoddi echoed the fact that a significant percentage of kids getting regular smoke exposure is both "scary" and preventable. She and Robinson agree the findings re-emphasize the need for thorough social histories to get a clear picture of where and how children live.

"At any age, cigarette smoke really affects kids, whether it's a grandmother they visit with on weekends or a parent they are with every day," Robinson said. Now in her fourth year of training, Robinson already has seen educational efforts help parents stop smoking or at least keep them from smoking around their children. But she's also had a few patients start smoking.

Amazingly, some of those young smokers might already have trouble breathing. In a related study of 2,636 eighth-to-10th graders in four rural Georgia schools, GHSU researchers also found that nearly 40 percent of white females and nearly 27 percent of white boys with wheezing, coughing asthma symptoms said they smoked. There were other unhealthy indicators: children with an actual asthma diagnosis – whether or not they had symptoms – had a higher percentage of body fat as measured by a higher body mass index.

The study looked at children with no asthma diagnosis, a diagnosis and symptoms, a diagnosis and no symptoms and active symptoms – but no actual diagnosis – in a 30 day-period. While smoke exposure is bad for anyone, it's at the top of the list of asthma triggers. The asthma study, along with another study yielding encouraging news that home-based intervention can help black parents feel confident about their ability to make their home tobacco-free, are being presented as posters during the tobacco research meeting.

The study compared general health education to parents learning life skills geared at improving communication, emphasizing their strength as role models and fundamentals such as best parenting practices. The study was in a mix of urban and rural parents who were largely black and an average age of 38. Parents who got life skills training significantly increased their self-efficacy.

"It's an expectation that we are not going to smoke and nobody is going to smoke in our house," said Tingen, who has been taking these types of educational programs to schools and communities for years. "It's an expectation that when you grow up, you are not going to smoke." Tingen hopes this type of positive life-skills training will one day be available to children and parents in every school.

Dr. Dennis Ownby, Chief of the Medical College of Georgia Section of Allergy-Immunology and Rheumatology at GHSU, is Co-Principal Investigator with Tingen on a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute grant that helped fund the studies and is a co-author on the asthma poster. Other research team members attending the conference include Maudesta Caleb, Research Associate; Kelora Cofer, Research Assistant; and Matthew Humphries; Research Manager, all with the Georgia Prevention Institute and MCG Department of Pediatrics.

Tingen also is a site principal investigator on two poster presentations at the conference with Dr. Jeanette Andrews, Associate Dean for Research and Evaluation and Director of the Center for Community Health Partnerships at the Medical University of South Carolina, on the Sister to Sister program aimed at getting female household heads in public housing to quit smoking.

Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.georgiahealth.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>