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Children still at danger from second-hand smoke

Zone default image Levels at home same after smoking ban

The smoking ban in Wales has not led to higher levels of second-hand smoke in the home, new research has shown.

A study of 3500 children from 75 primary schools in Wales, published in the journal BMC Public Health, found that the amount of second-hand smoke that children are exposed to at home is similar to that before the smoking ban started.

Some feared the ban on smoking in public places may cause an increase in smoking at home.

In the study, researchers from Cardiff University measured the levels of cotinine, a marker of exposure to cigarette smoke, in the saliva of approximately 1750 year children aged 10 and 11, before and after the smoking ban.

The children were also asked about their experiences of passive smoking.

Although the results showed the children were not exposed to increased levels of second-hand smoke after the smoking ban came into force, almost 40% of the children tested had cotinine concentrations above 0.17ng/ml, a level associated with lung dysfunction, the researchers said.

And almost 6% "had salivary cotinine concentrations higher than those of non-smoking Scottish bar workers" before the introduction of the smoking ban in Scotland.

Dr Jo Holliday from the School of Social Sciences commented:"Concerns have been expressed regarding the potential displacement of smoking from public places into the home, affecting non-smokers and, in particular, children.

"We found that the smoke-free legislation in Wales did not increase second-hand smoke exposure in homes of children aged 10-11.

"Nevertheless, the home did remain the main source of children's exposure".

This article was published on Thu 26 November 2009



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