The study authors said that absenteeism among children aged 6 to 11 could be reduced by 24 to 34 percent by eliminating smoking in the home.
Calling the database used in the research "the gold standard survey, huge and detailed," an expert in California said the study was "quite well done."
"They applied standard statistical methods to answer the questions they were asking," said Dr. Stanley Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and director of the school's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
Exposure to second-hand smoke has decreased over the last 20 years due to family rules about smoking in homes, and laws banning it in public places, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Glantz said parents are beginning to be more aware of the effect of second-hand smoke on children. "There has been a lot of movement on this issue in the last few years," he said.
To learn more about second-hand smoke, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Douglas Levy, Ph.D., assistant professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, and assistant in health care policy, Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Stanton Glantz, M.D., professor, medicine, and director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California at San Francisco; Sept. 6, 2011, Pediatrics, online
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