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Pediatrics. 2011 Apr;127(4):628-34. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2462. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Acceptability of testing children for tobacco-smoke exposure: a national parent survey.

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  • 1Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy, 50 Staniford St, Suite 901, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



Tests are available to measure children's exposure to tobacco smoke. One potential barrier to testing children for tobacco-smoke exposure is the belief that parents who smoke would not want their child tested. No previous surveys have assessed whether testing children for exposure to tobacco smoke in the context of their child's primary care visit is acceptable to parents.


To assess whether testing children for tobacco-smoke exposure is acceptable to parents.


We conducted a national random-digit-dial telephone survey of households from September to November 2006. The sample was weighted by race and gender, based on the 2005 US Census, to be representative of the US population.


Of 2070 eligible respondents contacted, 1803 (87.1%) completed the surveys. Among 477 parents in the sample, 60.1% thought that children should be tested for tobacco-smoke exposure at their child's doctor visit. Among the parental smokers sampled, 62.0% thought that children should be tested for tobacco-smoke exposure at the child's doctor visit. In bivariate analysis, lower parental education level, allowing smoking in the home, nonwhite race, and female gender were each associated (P < .05) with wanting the child tested for tobacco-smoke exposure.


The majority of nonsmoking and smoking parents want their children tested for tobacco-smoke exposure during the child's health care visit.

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