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Determinants of child protection from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the home Timmerman, Tracey Lynne

Abstract

Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has a considerable negative impact on the health of children, and has been causally associated with chronic bronchitis and pneumonia, chronic ear infection due to the build up of fluid in the middle ear and the exacerbation and induction of asthma. The most important source of exposure to ETS for children is the home, and significant reductions in exposure to ETS can result from restricting smoking in the home. Several controlled trials of interventions designed to encourage smokers living with children to adopt smoking restrictions in their households or to stop smoking altogether have been published, but have shown limited success. In the future, interventions involving the entire household unit may be more effective, and an essential foundation on which to build such interventions will include knowledge of the characteristics of households with varying levels of household smoking restriction. The objectives of this study were twofold: 1) to examine the relationship between household socio-demographic variables and the level of smoking restriction in households that include both adult smokers and children under the age of 18 years, and 2) to examine this relationship utilizing ordinal and nominal regression methods to contribute to the understanding of the nature of the progression from a low level of smoking restriction to a high level of smoking restriction in the home. These objectives were met by performing a secondary analysis of data previously collected as part of the ETS in the Home National Survey. The results of this analysis indicated that the odds of having a high level of smoking restriction in the home were significantly lower for families residing in apartments and/or condominiums compared to single detached homes, families residing in Quebec compared to Ontario, and households with older children. The odds for having a high level of household smoking restriction were significantly higher for households residing in British Columbia compared to Ontario. These results were consistent in direction and magnitude with results of similar studies reported previously in the literature.

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