Secondhand smoke exposure in children

Zoya Treyster, Benjamin A. Gitterman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Secondhand smoke exposure (SHS) has long been correlated with many adverse disease processes, particularly in children. For children growing up with socioeconomic disadvantages and increased exposure to SHS, exposure can have far reaching consequences. The purpose of this chapter was to examine the literature assessing the effects of secondhand smoke exposure in children as well as the perspectives of both parents and providers regarding current practices in cessation counseling. The review also sought out recommendations on ways to increase the influence of pediatricians on parental smoking. The studies on SHS exposure in children showed correlations between SHS exposure and SIDS, asthma, altered respiratory function, infection, cardiovascular effects, behavior problems, sleep difficulties, increased cancer risk, and a higher likelihood of smoking initiation. Questionnaires of both parents and pediatricians showed that pediatricians are not consistently carrying out recommended smoking cessation interventions with lack of training as a primary barrier. Nevertheless, interventions targeting improved cessation training for both residents and practicing pediatricians have been studied and show promising results. Conclusions: SHS exposure has many detrimental effects on children's health, particularly for those in low socioeconomic circumstances where factors in the built environment accentuated a higher baseline risk. By counseling parents, expanding residency education, and continuing advocacy work, pediatricians can have a significant positive impact on children's health as related to SHS exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Health Disparities in Children
Subtitle of host publicationAsthma, Obesity and Food
PublisherNova Science Publisher Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781629481357
ISBN (Print)9781629481227
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Secondhand smoke exposure in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this