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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2004 Jan 8;124(1):16-9.

[Changes in reporting on passive smoking by parents of small children].

[Article in Norwegian]

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Statens institutt for rusmiddelforskning, Postboks 565 Sentrum, 0105 Oslo.



The Norwegian Cancer Society has led a comprehensive information campaign since 1995 with the aim of reducing young children's ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) exposure in their homes. The aims of the present study were to assess changes in parents' reporting of child exposure to ETS, attitudes towards ETS, and awareness regarding the potential hazards of passive smoking to children.


A questionnaire along with a stamped, addressed envelope was sent to a stratified random sample of 1000 households in Norway with three-year-old children at the time of the investigation (May 1995 and August 2001).


According to parents, the prevalence of households in which children were exposed to ETS fell from 32% in 1995 to 18% in 2001. In both surveys, the probability of children being exposed was positively correlated with the number of parents smoking and inversely correlated with length of education, negative attitudes towards ETS and strength of health-risk awareness.


The observed changes must be viewed in the light of the media focus on passive smoking during this period, a nationwide information campaign and as an artifact caused by more underreporting of a behaviour that is being internalised as in breach of a norm.

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