Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Smoking parents often expose children to tobacco smoke in their cars

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.

Additional co-authors are Susan Regan, PhD, and Nancy Rigotti, MD, MGH Department of Medicine; Bethany Hipple, MPH, Janelle Dempsey, Nicole Hall, MD, Joan Friebely, EdD, MGHfC Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and Policy; Deborah Ossip, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center; and Jeremy Drehmer, MPH, and Victoria Weiley, MIS, American Academy of Pediatrics. Support for the study includes grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $750 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine. In July 2012, MGH moved into the number one spot on the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."

Kory Zhao | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>