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Apartment-dwelling children in nonsmoking units still exposed
Date:12/13/2010

tinine of 45 percent over those living in detached houses. While some of the tobacco exposure may have come from family members who only smoke outside, but carry in tobacco residue on their clothes, study authors suggest this is unlikely to explain all of the difference since there are many more exposed children than adult smokers. Instead they conclude tobacco smoke may have seeped through walls or shared ventilation systems. Earlier studies have shown that tobacco smoke contaminates non-smoking units of multi-unit dwellings.

The study, which was funded by the Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence of the American Academy of Pediatrics, through a grant from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, analyzed data from more than 5,000 children ages 6 to18 in a national database (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2006) to see if there was any relationship between their smoke exposure and their housing type. Cotinine levels were highest for children who were under 12, black and living below the federal poverty level. Previous studies have shown that children with cotinine levels indicating even very low amounts of tobacco smoke exposure have delayed cognitive abilities and decreased antioxidant levels.

"This study is an important piece of evidence supporting universal smoke-free multi-unit housing," said Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the senior author of the study. "More and more landlords, in all 50 states, know that they can set the smoke-free policy for their buildings, and with 80 percent of the population not smoking, market demands strongly favor smoke-free status. When landlords set a completely smoke-free policy they will enjoy lower fire risk and insurance costs, lower clean up costs between tenants, and they will be fostering a healthier home for everyone in the building."

"In general, people who smoke are very respectful of not exposing children and non-smoker
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Contact: Heather Hare
heather_hare@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-2840
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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