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Smoking parents often expose children to tobacco smoke in their cars
Date:11/12/2012

, but only 24 percent of parents had a strictly enforced smoke-free policy for their cars.

Only about one-fifth of the parents reported being asked by a pediatric health care provider about their smoking status. Few of the parents who smoked (12 percent) were advised by the provider to avoid smoking in their cars. This is the first known study to examine the rates at which pediatricians address smoking in cars; and due to the low percentage of parents counseled on this issue, the authors conclude that pediatricians should address tobacco use with parents and encourage them to have strict smoke-free home and car policies to help reduce tobacco smoke exposure of children.

Because of their role in advocating for children's health, Nabi-Burza says pediatricians have the unique opportunity to counsel parents on creating a strict smoke-free car policy.

"An infant strapped in a car seat cannot advocate effectively for herself in the face of parental tobacco addiction. The pediatrician can help the parent set a no-smoking policy in the car," says Jonathan P. Winickoff, MD, MPH, the study's senior author. He is an associate professor of Pediatrics and Nabi-Burza is a research associate in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.


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Contact: Kory Zhao
kzhao2@partners.org
617-726-0274
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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