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Changes in childhood exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (CHETS)

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Changes in childhood exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (CHETS)

A study undertaken by the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics on changes in childhood exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

A study undertaken by the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics.

Researchers

  • Graham Moore
  • Dr Jo Holliday
  • Professor Laurence Moore

Study Aims

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.

Study Design

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.

Main Outcomes

  • 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.