Changes in childhood exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (CHETS)
A study undertaken by the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics.
- Graham Moore
- Dr Jo Holliday
- Professor Laurence Moore
To examine the effects of the legislation on second-hand smoke exposure amongst non-smoking children. The study used biochemical and self-report data to assess impacts of Welsh smoke-free legislation on children’s second-hand smoke exposure. The aim of the study was to assess:
- population level changes in salivary cotinine concentrations following the introduction of smoke-free legislation in Wales;
- children’s perceived exposure to second-hand smoke pre- and post-legislation;
- potential displacement of parental smoking amongst subgroups defined by the number of parent figures who smoke within the home; and
- perceived normative behaviour in relation to smoking.
A repeated cross-sectional study of year 6 Welsh school children. Two different samples of approximately 1,750 year 6 students from 75 nationally representative primary schools were surveyed pre-ban and one year after the initial data sweep.
Data were collected in the classroom environment. At each data sweep, students were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their own smoking behaviour and that of their close friends and family, smoking norms and attitudes, recent exposure to secondhand smoke in a variety of public and private locations and asthma. They also provided a saliva sample for cotinine assay.
Analysis involved comparing salivary cotinine levels of children before and after the introduction of smoke free legislation, reports of parental smoking, and reports of second-hand smoke exposure in public and private places.
- No evidence was found of displacement of parental smoking into the home following the introduction of smoke-free legislation.
- There appears to have been a small decline in the percentage of parents smoking within the home, but the home remained the main source of children’s exposure to second-hand smoke.