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BMC Public Health. 2007 Aug 10;7:202.

Evaluating environmental tobacco smoke exposure in a group of Turkish primary school students and developing intervention methods for prevention.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Kahramanmaras, Turkey. h_ekerbicer@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In countries like Turkey where smoking is highly prevalent, children's exposure to tobacco smoke is an important public health problem. The goals of this study were to determine the self-reported environmental tobacco smoke exposure status of primary school students in grades 3 to 5, to verify self-reported exposure levels with data provided from a biomarker of exposure, and to develop methods for preventing school children from passive smoking.

METHODS:

The study was conducted on 347 primary school students by using a standard questionnaire and urinary cotinine tests. Children with verified ETS exposure were randomly assigned to 2 intervention groups. Two phone interviews were conducted with the parents of the first group regarding their children's passive smoking status and its possible consequences. On the other hand, a brief note concerning urinary cotinine test result was sent to parents of the second group. Nine months after the initial urinary cotinine tests, measurements were repeated in both groups.

RESULTS:

According to questionnaire data, 59.9% of the study group (208 of 347) were exposed to ETS. Urinary cotinine measurements of children were highly consistent with the self-reported exposure levels (P < 0.001). Two different intervention methods were applied to parents of the exposed children. Control tests suggested a remarkable reduction in the proportion of those children demonstrating a recent exposure to ETS in both groups. Proportions of children with urinary cotinine concentrations 10 ng/ml or lower were 79.5% in Group I and 74.2% in Group II (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

Self-reported ETS exposure was found to be pretty accurate in the 9-11 age group when checked with urinary cotinine tests. Only informing parents that their children' ETS exposure were confirmed by a laboratory test seems to be very promising in preventing children from ETS.

PMID:
17692111
PMCID:
PMC2048514
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2458-7-202
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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