"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!
The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease
18.01.2019 | University of the Basque Country
Bioinspired nanoscale drug delivery method developed by WSU, PNNL researchers
10.01.2019 | Washington State University
The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research
Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI
The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
16.01.2019 | Event News
14.01.2019 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Event News
18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2019 | Life Sciences
18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine