Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke--perceptions of African American children and adolescents.Prev Med. 1996 May-Jun; 25(3):286-92.PM
A study was designed to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and preventive efforts with regard to exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) among a sample of urban African American children and adolescents.
A sample of 675 students enrolled in grades 5 through 12 in an urban public school district located in the greater metropolitan area of Detroit, Michigan, was surveyed.
Smoking rates among students were higher if someone else in the home was a smoker and lower if there were no other smokers in the home. Forty-eight percent of the students reported that their fathers smoked, while 46% reported mothers who smoked. In each of the areas knowledge, attitudes, and preventive efforts, elementary students scored highest and middle school students scored lowest. Attitude scores were higher if the mother or father was a nonsmoker, and nonsmokers scored higher than smokers on knowledge, attitudes, and preventive efforts. Students' preventive efforts were significantly predicted by their knowledge, attitudes, and gender, while their attitudes were in turn predicted by their knowledge, gender, school level, and smoking status and by the proportion of their friends who were smokers. Students' knowledge was significantly predicted by their gender and school level and by the proportion of their siblings who were smokers.
It is apparent that many of the African American students surveyed in this study experience significant exposure to ETS, particularly in the home. As is evident from the literature, this has implications for the long term health of these youngsters. Health education and promotion efforts should be directed not only toward the students themselves, but should also address the smoking behavior of parents and others in the home environment.