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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2010 Apr;64(4):341-6. doi: 10.1136/jech.2008.084178. Epub 2009 Aug 13.

Socioeconomic differences in second-hand smoke exposure among children in Scotland after introduction of the smoke-free legislation.

Author information

1
Child & Adolescent Health Research Unit (CAHRU), University of Edinburgh, St Leonard's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ, UK. patricia.akhtar@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To examine the impact of the Scottish smoke-free legislation on social inequalities in secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure among primary school children.

METHODS:

Comparison of nationally representative, cross-sectional, class-based surveys carried out in the same schools before and after legislation. Participants were 2532 primary school children (primary 7; aged around 11 y) surveyed in January 2006 (before legislation) and 2389 in January 2007 (after legislation). Outcome measures were salivary cotinine concentrations, self-reported family socioeconomic classification (family SEC) and family affluence scale (FAS).

RESULTS:

After adjusting for number of smoking parents, mean cotinine concentration varied significantly across both family SEC and FAS groups, and increased significantly stepwise from high to low family SEC/FAS. Mean cotinine fell in all family SEC/FAS groups after legislation. The relative drop in mean cotinine was equal across all family SEC/FAS groups. Adding an interaction term between survey-year and family SEC/FAS to the model showed an increase in inequalities over time, but was only significant at the 93% level using FAS and 73% using family SEC.

CONCLUSION:

Inequalities in SHS exposure exist among 11-year-old children in Scotland. Smoke-free legislation has reduced exposure to SHS among all children. Although the greatest absolute reduction in cotinine is observed in the lowest SEC/FAS group, cotinine levels remain highest for this group and there is a suggestion of possible increases in inequalities, which may warrant longer-term monitoring.

PMID:
19679709
DOI:
10.1136/jech.2008.084178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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