Tag Archives: secondhand smoke

Children Exposure to Tobacco smoke

Overall, 17 percent of the children were readmitted to the hospital for asthma or wheezing within one year of their first admission. Of the children with complete tobacco exposure information, 35 percent had been exposed to tobacco smoke according to their caregivers. However, 56 percent of them had been exposed based on cotinine levels in their blood, and 80 percent of them had high enough cotinine exposures in their saliva to show they had been exposed at least secondhand to tobacco.

In fact, 39 percent of the children whose caregivers said children didn’t have tobacco exposure had cotinine detected in their blood. In addition, 70 percent of the children whose caregivers reported no tobacco exposure had cotinine detected in their saliva. The researchers did not find that children were more or less likely to be readmitted to the hospital if their caregiver had reported tobacco exposure, but the results differed for those with cotinine in their blood or saliva.

Children whose blood samples contained cotinine had 1.6 times greater odds of being admitted to the hospital again within a year of their first hospital visit, compared to children without cotinine levels in their blood. Children whose saliva samples contained cotinine had 2.4 times greater odds of readmission to the hospital for asthma or wheezing, compared to children without cotinine in their saliva.”We found that secondhand smoke exposure was common among children admitted for wheezing or asthma,” the researchers concluded.

They found that being readmitted to the hospital for asthma or wheezing was specifically linked to tobacco exposure detected by cotinine levels in the blood or saliva. However, parent or other caregiver reports of exposure to tobacco smoke for the child did not predict whether a child could expect to be readmitted to the hospital or not. Having children’s blood or saliva tested for levels of cotinine may therefore offer insights into whether the child’s asthma or wheezing may require later hospitalization.

This study was published January 20 in the journal Pediatrics. The authors reported no potential conflicts of interest. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, a Flight Attendance Medical Research Foundation Young Clinical Scientist Award and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Tobacco Facts


Tags: , , ,

Smoking ban on planes

After a 25-year battle, smoking is essentially banned on all airline flights beginning and ending in the U.S. when President George H.W. Bush signs legislation that make it through Congress despite fierce resistance by legislators from tobacco states.

Technically, the new law forbids smoking on any domestic flight lasting less than six hours–which means only 28 out of 16,000 flights are exempted, mainly non-stops to Hawaii. It replaces a previous law banning smoking on U.S. flights lasting under two hours.

It’s seen as a big victory for health advocates and flight attendants, who had long complained about all the second-hand smoke they had to breathe in. A turning point in the debate, in fact, had been a National Academy of Sciences report in 1986 which had found that flight attendants typically were exposed to the same level of second-hand smoke as someone married to a person who smoked a pack a day.

Still, it had been an uphill battle.  As far back as 1973 the Civil Aeronautics Board had  begun addressing the matter by requiring airlines to create separate smoking and non-smoking sections in their planes.  But only the tobacco companies saw that as much of a solution.  As one critic of the policy put it: “A smoking section on an airplane is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.”

Even with more and more scientific evidence showing harmful health effects of an airplane cabin full of smoke, the political debate came down to rights of smokers versus non-smokers. When his attempts to block the legislation through a filibuster failed, Senator Jesse Helms, from the big tobacco state of North Carolina, complained: “People who smoke cigarettes have a right, too. But they are going to have no choice.”

By the mid-1990s, airlines began adopting no-smoking policies that applied worldwide, beginning with Delta in 1995, and followed two years later by TWA, United and American Airlines.  Air France, British Air and Virgin Atlantic followed suit in 1998.  When, in 2000, President Bill Clinton signed a law officially prohibiting smoking on every flight into and out of the U.S., it was a mere formality.

More recently, companies selling electronic cigarettes, which emit no smoke, began promoting them as devices that can be smoked anywhere–including on planes. And technically, they were right–the existing law doesn’t actually prohibit them.  But none of major airlines is allowing e-cigarettes to slip through that loophole.  For now, their position is that faux cigarettes are no more welcome on their planes than the real thing.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Tobacco News


Tags: , , ,

New York: Smoking Ban at Playgrounds Takes Effect

The next time you take your kids to the park, you will not have to worry about smoke filling the air where they are playing. A new statewide law prohibiting smoking at playgrounds between took effect last week. It applies at all parks between sunrise and sunset when children under the age of 12 are there.

The law aims to protect children from secondhand smoke. “Children should be able to run around and play at playgrounds without being exposed to smoke that harms their health,” said Jackie Shostack, coordinator for Tobacco Free Onondaga County. “This law is a common sense measure that should help keep playgrounds safe, clean, and free of cigarette butts.”

The new law does not prevent local municipalities from adopting anti-smoking policies that are more rigorous than the new statewide law.

On Monday, a State Supreme Court Justice ordered New York parks officials to tear down their ‘No Smoking’ signs posted earlier this year. By siding with a smoker’s rights group, the judge ruled the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation exceeded its authority when it prohibited smoking at various parks, including popular beaches and all state parks within New York City. Even though the judge acknowledged that secondhand smoke is ‘deleterious to the health of non-smokers and especially children, it doesn’t mean a state agency is empowered to regulate the conduct of park patrons.’

State Parks and Recreation officials issued a statement saying they believe they do have the authority to regulate outdoor smoking and they were considering an appeal of the court’s decision.

Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Secondhand smoke is responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 New Yorkers every year.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Tobacco News


Tags: , , ,