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Apartment dwellers often subjected to neighbors' tobacco smoke
Date:4/29/2012

BOSTON Noisy neighbors and broken-down elevators are common downsides of apartment living. You also can add unwanted tobacco smoke to the list of hazards, according to research to be presented Sunday, April 29, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.

Studies have shown that tobacco smoke can seep from one apartment into another. The extent to which this happens, however, is unclear.

Researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence surveyed a nationally representative sample of adults living in apartments to examine factors associated with unwanted tobacco smoke. The center, named for a former U.S. surgeon general, is committed to protecting children from tobacco and secondhand smoke.

Apartment dwellers were asked whether they experienced smoke incursion, which was defined as smelling tobacco smoke in their building and/or unit. They also were asked if they had children and if their apartment building had any smoking restrictions. Only respondents who reported that no one had smoked in their home for the previous three months were included in the study.

Results showed that nearly one-third of the 323 eligible respondents reported smelling tobacco smoke in their buildings, and half of these residents reported smelling smoke in their own units. In particular, residents with children were more likely to smell smoke in their building than those with no children (41 percent vs. 26 percent).

Survey results also showed that 38 percent of those who reported smelling smoke said they did so weekly, while 12 percent smelled smoke daily.

"A significant number of residents of multi-unit housing are being unwillingly exposed to tobacco smoke, in some cases on a daily basis, and children seem to be especially vulnerable," said lead author Karen M. Wilson, MD, MPH, FAAP, section head, pediatric hospital medicine at Children's Hospital Colorado and ass
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Contact: Susan Stevens Martin
ssmartin@aap.org
847-434-7131
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

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