Public Health Policy Against Tobacco

A new study carried out in the University of Cincinnati has linked second-hand smoke to poor health, higher absenteeism, increased likelihood to seek medical attention among adolescents.

According to, the study was published in the September 2018 issue of Paediatrics of the University of Cincinnati, US.

The lead study author, Prof. Ashley Merianos, said, “There is no safe level of second-hand smoke exposure, even a small amount of exposure can lead to more emergency department visits and health problems for teens. That includes not just respiratory symptoms, but lower overall health.”

The study titled, ‘Adolescent Tobacco Smoke Exposure, Respiratory Symptoms and Emergency Department Utilization’ used data from a 2014 to 2015 survey that looks at tobacco use and related health issues among U.S. people 12 years old and above. A total of 7,389 non-smoking teens without asthma were included in the study.

The researchers found that teens exposed to tobacco smoke were at higher risk of having respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and a dry cough at night. It also found that smoke-exposed teens were more likely to seek treatment at an urgent care or hospital emergency department.

They also found that adolescents exposed to tobacco smoke were more likely to find it hard to exercise, including wheezing during and after exercise. They were also found to be more likely to report that they frequently missed school due to illness than unexposed teens.

Merianos and her colleagues concluded that more must be done to curb adolescent exposure to second-hand smoke.

She advised healthcare providers to offer to counsel parents and other family members who smoke to help them quit smoking. She also said parents should be counselled on how to prevent and reduce their adolescent’s second-hand smoke exposure.

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