Send to

Choose Destination
Tob Control. 2018 Jul;27(4):399-406. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-053751. Epub 2017 Aug 19.

Second-hand smoke exposure in homes with children: assessment of airborne nicotine in the living room and children's bedroom.

Author information

Servei d'Avaluació i Mètodes d'Intervenció, Agència de Salut Publica de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Madrid, Spain.
Department of experimental and health science, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain.
Institut d'investigació Biomèdica Sant Pau (IIB St. Pau), Barcelona, Spain.
Epidemiology Unit, Galician Directorate for Public Health, GalicianHealth Authority, Xunta de Galicia, antiago de Compostela, Spain.
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Direcció General de Planificació en Salut, Departament de Salut, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
Cancer Prevention and Control Group, Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL), Barcelona, Spain.
Tobacco Control Unit, Cancer Control and Prevention Programme, Institut Català d'Oncologia (ICO), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain.
Department of Clinical Sciences, Campus de Bellvitge, School of Medicine and Health Science, Universitat de Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de llobregat (Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain.
Laboratori de l'Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Servei de Química, Barcelona, Spain.



The introduction of 'smoke-free laws' has reduced the population's exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS), although SHS is still an issue in homes and other public places. Children are vulnerable to its health effects, and their greatest exposure occurs at home.


To assess airborne nicotine concentration of the living room and children's bedroom of homes with children under 13 years of age, and to analyse factors associated with these levels.


We conducted a cross-sectional study in Barcelona in 2015-2016, selecting a convenience sample from families with at least one child under 13 years of age. The sample comprised 50 families with smokers and 50 without. We measured airborne nicotine concentrations in the living room and children's bedroom, and, using a questionnaire administered to the parents, collected information about smoking habits at home.


Homes without smokers showed nicotine concentrations below the limit of detection (<0.02 µg/m3), while those with at least one smoker showed 0.16 µg/m3 in the living room and 0.12 µg/m3 in the bedroom. When smoking was allowed inside home, these values increased to 1.04 and 0.48 µg/m3, respectively. Moreover, nicotine concentrations in both rooms were strongly correlated (r=0.89), and higher nicotine levels were associated with the number of cigarettes smoked in the living room, smoking rules, the number of smokers living at home and tobacco smell.


Homes with smokers present SHS in the living room and in the children's bedroom. Therefore, programmes focused on reducing children's SHS exposure are urgently needed.


Nicotine; Priority/special Populations; Secondhand Smoke

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center