According to a new CDC report teens are highly exposed to secondhand smoke which might have negative consequences on their health even if they have never used tobacco.
Almost half of the high school and middle school never-smokers are have been exposed to secondhand smoke, the report shows.
The National Youth Tobacco Survey analyzed the responses of over 18,000 teens – 6 to 12-graders throughout the United States. The students were asked to complete questionnaires about the use of tobacco products, from cigarettes to hookahs, pipes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.
In order to assess their exposure to secondhand smoke the teens were asked if during the past seven days they have been around someone who was smoking tobacco weather at home or in other locations.
Of the students who said that they have never used tobacco, 48 percent have been exposed to secondhand smoke in the last seven days. The places in which most of them have been exposed to tobacco smoke were public places. About 35 percent of participants reported they have been exposed to secondhand smoke in restaurants and parks; 17 percent have been exposed at school and 27 percent at work.
About 15 percent reported to be exposed on a daily bases to secondhand smoke coming from their family members wile at home and another 15 percent in cars. So even if less children are exposed to secondhand smoke by their own parents or other family members, those are also the ones exposed the most frequently.
The study analyzing the report, led by Brian King from the CDC Office of Smoking and Health has been published in the journal Pediatrics on January 11.
As children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to suffer from asthma, ear disease, lung infection and other serious conditions King says people should be protected from it at least in public spaces.
In the United States 28 states and the D.C. have prohibited smoking in public spaces such as restaurants and another aprox. 700 communities have local laws. This means that over a half of the Americans are being protected from secondhand smoke in public places.
Beside those, in the past few years some communities in California passed municipal laws banning smoking in all apartment buildings while other states don’t allow smoking in apartment buildings which are public properties.
However, when it comes to car exposure, only eight states have laws which prohibit smoking when children are in the car.
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