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Am J Public Health. 1981 March; 71(3): 290–293.
PMCID: PMC1619813

Children's health in families with cigarette smokers.


Recent studies have indicated higher rates of certain respiratory conditions among children who live in households with adults who smoke cigarettes. This paper analyzes data from the 1970 National Health Interview Survey. Children in families with no smokers had an average of 1.1 fewer restricted-activity days and 0.8 fewer bed-disability days per year than did children in families with two smokers. Children in families with one smoker were in between. Acute respiratory illness accounted for the difference in disability days among children in families with different smoking characteristics. Family smoking was also measured by the combined number of cigarettes smoked by adults; children in families which smoked 45 or more cigarettes a day had 1.9 more restricted activity days and 0.9 more bed-disability days due to acute respiratory conditions than did children in families who did not smoke cigarettes. The age of the child, the number of adults in the family, the education of the family head, and the family income were all controlled and did not eliminate the relationship between children's health and family smoking.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Huber GL. Editorial: Smoking and nonsmokers - what is the issue? N Engl J Med. 1975 Apr 17;292(16):858–859. [PubMed]
  • Tager IB, Weiss ST, Rosner B, Speizer FE. Effect of parental cigarette smoking on the pulmonary function of children. Am J Epidemiol. 1979 Jul;110(1):15–26. [PubMed]
  • Tager IB, Rosner B, Tishler PV, Speizer FE, Kass EH. Household aggregation of pulmonary function and chronic bronchitis. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1976 Sep;114(3):485–492. [PubMed]
  • Colley JR. Respiratory symptoms in children and parental smoking and phlegm production. Br Med J. 1974 Apr 27;2(5912):201–204. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lebowitz MD, Burrows B. Respiratory symptoms related to smoking habits of family adults. Chest. 1976 Jan;69(1):48–50. [PubMed]
  • Speizer FE, Rosner B, Tager I. Familial aggregation of chronic respiratory disease: use of National Health Interview Survey data for specific hypothesis testing. Int J Epidemiol. 1976 Jun;5(2):167–172. [PubMed]

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