Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1993 Jun;18(3):178-80.

Parental cigarette smoking and tonsillectomy in children.

Author information

University Department of Otolaryngology, Manchester Royal Infirmary, UK.


The deleterious effects of parental smoking on the upper respiratory tracts of children are becoming increasingly recognized. This study examines the effect of parental smoking on the frequency of tonsillitis and incidence of tonsillectomy in children. A group of children being admitted for tonsillectomy and a control group of children from an orthoptic clinic were studied. Details recorded about the children included a history of tonsillectomy and the number of courses of antibiotics taken for sore throats in the previous 12 months. Parents were questioned about their smoking habits. A marked and statistically significant association has been found between the incidence of tonsillectomy in children and parental smoking in the home environment. There was a higher frequency of attacks of tonsillitis requiring antibiotic treatment in those children whose parents smoked. This effect may be mediated by altered oropharyngeal flora, mucociliary dysfunction, increased cross infection or a combination of these. If parents are encouraged to stop smoking there will be a reduction in tobacco smoke levels in the home environment and this should lead to a fall in both the incidence of tonsillitis and the need for tonsillectomy in their children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center