Household Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Respiratory Health in School Age Children

Maja Nikolić, Aleksandra Stanković, Ivana Mladenović Ćirić
2012 Acta Facultatis Medicae Naissensis  
SUMMARY In the recent years the exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has been an important public health hazard, especially in Serbia, a country with too many smokers. A common component of tobacco smoke is particulate matter less than 10μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10), which is considered to be the most dangerous air pollutant for health. The aim of this paper was to investigate the association between respiratory symptoms and illnesses in schoolchildren in relation to their
more » ... ental tobacco smoke exposure. We conducted an epidemiological study that included 708 participants (49.15 % male) aged 11-14 years from Niš, Serbia. The children were surveyed by original structured questionnaire, based on the instrument developed for similar investigations. Data about the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in the last 12-month period of life and lifetime prevalence of respiratory illnesses were obtained. The questionnaire also included items about other indoor environmental determinants. Tobacco smoke was the most prevalent source of indoor air pollution at children's home (60.73%). We found a significant association between ETS exposure and increased prevalence of dyspnea, wheezing, bronchitis and asthma among children. It is necessary to inform parents in Serbia on the health effects of ETS exposure during childhood and to encourage them to change smoking habits in order to protect their children from ETS exposure at home.
doi:10.2478/v10283-012-0024-4 fatcat:s35ukxnxtrb4rk4gdidasctcj4