Do parents know about the adverse effects of passive smoking and the relationship with respiratory illness on their children?Bol Asoc Med P R. 2008 Apr-Jun; 100(2):39-46.BA
Recent studies still show parental smoke as the number one environmental exposure agent causing asthma in pediatric population.
The purpose of this study is to determine the knowledge of parents about the adverse effects of passive smoking and the prevalence of passive smoking in children.
Cross sectional study, participants were caregivers of students from first to sixth grade (three private and two public schools) who answered a self-administered survey. Data was analyzed using SPSS.
Surveys were collected by availability. Total of caregivers was 594, (47% from private and 53% from public school). The total of estimated children in the survey was 1318, and 48.3% in general had recurrent respiratory illness. Among caregivers, 12.1% (72) reported to be smokers. There were 127 participants who revealed at least 1-3 smokers in their home; these smokers are affecting 167 children who are exposed to secondhand smoke. Among smokers, 16.9% smoked inside the house, 15.5% in their cars and 12.3% smoked in the presence of their children. Participants with higher education had a higher average score on knowledge about adverse effects of smoking (p<.001). Over half of the participants (52%) reported seen anti-smoking promotion on T.V. during previous days. Non-smokers revealed they have seen such promotion recently (p=0.00), but 31% of all participants reported not seen any anti-smoking promotion at all.
The prevalence of smokers in our study was 12.1%. We estimated there was more than one smoker in those households where smoking was allowed. There was a higher prevalence of smokers among parents from public schools. There was no significant difference between passive smoker households and non-smoker households for respiratory illness in their children. Pediatricians are giving information to caregivers about active and passive smoking but still, 34% of smokers reported not receiving any information. We need to reinforce the counseling given to caregivers about the adverse effects of smoking has on environmental pollution, and as a cause of other cancers besides lung cancer, recurrent infections and SIDS.