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Nicotine Tob Res. 2009 Apr;11(4):362-70. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntp021. Epub 2009 Apr 7.

Secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers nationally and in New York City.

Author information

1
Bureau of Tobacco Control, Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, New York, NY, USA. jellis@bloombergfoundation.org

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

We describe smoking prevalence and secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure among adult nonsmokers in New York City (NYC) across key demographic strata and compare exposure estimates with those found nationally.

METHODS:

We used serum cotinine data from the 2004 NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 1,767 adults aged 20 years or older) and the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 4,476 adults aged 20 years or older) to assess and compare smoking prevalence and the prevalence of elevated cotinine levels (> or =0.05 ng/ml) among nonsmokers. We conducted multivariate logistic regression to assess independent predictors of elevated cotinine levels in NYC.

RESULTS:

Although the smoking prevalence in NYC was lower than that found nationally (23.3% vs. 29.7%, p < .05), the proportion of nonsmoking adults in NYC with elevated cotinine levels was greater than the national average overall (56.7% vs. 44.9%, p < .05) and was higher for most demographic subgroups. In NYC, the highest cotinine levels among nonsmokers were among adults aged 20-39 years, males, and Asians.

DISCUSSION:

Although NYC enacted comprehensive smoke-free workplace legislation in 2003, findings suggest that exposure to SHS remains a significant public health issue, especially among certain subgroups. The finding of a higher prevalence of SHS exposure in NYC despite lower smoking rates is puzzling but suggests that SHS exposure in dense, urban settings may pose a particular challenge.

PMID:
19351780
DOI:
10.1093/ntr/ntp021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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