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Does having children affect adult smoking and behaviours at home?
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Department of Health Sciences, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden.
2003 (English)In: Tobacco Induced Diseases, ISSN 1617-9625, Vol. 1, no 3, 175-183 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Smoking prevalence and smoking behaviours have changed in society and an increased awareness of the importance of protecting children from environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is reported. The aim of this study was to find out if smoking prevalence and smoking behaviours were influenced by parenthood, and if differences in health-related quality of life differed between smoking and non-smoking parents.


Questionnaires were sent to a randomly selected sample, including 1735 men and women (20–44 years old), residing in the south-east of Sweden. Participation rate was 78%. Analyses were done to show differences between groups, and variables of importance for being a smoker and an indoor smoker.


Parenthood did not seem to be associated with lower smoking prevalence. Logistic regression models showed that smoking prevalence was significantly associated with education, gender and mental health. Smoking behaviour, as well as attitudes to passive smoking, seemed to be influenced by parenthood. Parents of dependent children (0–19 years old) smoked outdoors significantly more than adults without children (p < 0.01). Logistic regression showed that factors negatively associated with outdoor smoking included having immigrant status, and not having preschool children. Parents of preschool children found it significantly more important to keep the indoor environment smoke free than both parents with schoolchildren (p = 0.02) and adults without children (p < 0.001). Significant differences in self-perceived health-related quality of life indexes (SF-36) were seen between smokers and non-smokers.


As smoking behaviour, but not smoking prevalence, seems to be influenced by parenthood, it is important to consider the effectiveness of commonly used precautions when children's risk for ETS exposure is estimated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 1, no 3, 175-183 p.
Keyword [en]
smoking prevalence, children, protection, parents, SF-36
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13623DOI: 10.1186/1617-9625-1-3-175OAI: diva2:21072
Available from: 2004-03-12 Created: 2004-03-12 Last updated: 2009-05-20
In thesis
1. Passive Smoking in Children: The Importance of Parents’ Smoking and Use of Protective Measures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Passive Smoking in Children: The Importance of Parents’ Smoking and Use of Protective Measures
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Passive smoking has been recognised as a health hazard, and chidren are especially vulnerable. The general aim of this thesis was to describe and analyse the importance of parents’ smoking and smoking behaviour for children’s tobacco smoke exposure. The studies were conducted in the South-East part of Sweden and pre-school children and their parents constituted the study samples. Five studies are described in six papers. Smoking prevalence among parents (14%) and commonly used measures of protection were surveyed. An instrument designed to measure children’s tobacco smoke exposure in the home was developed and validated. It was used on 687 families with a smoking parent and a child 2½-3 years old, included in a prospective cohort study on environmental variables of importance for immun-mediated diseases ABIS (All Babies in South-East Sweden). Almost 60% of the parents stated that they always smoked outdoors with the door closed, 14% mixed this with smoking near the kitchen fan, 12% near an open door, 7% mixed all these behaviours and 8 % smoked indoors without precautions. The smoking behaviours were related to the children’s creatinine adjusted urine cotinine. All groups had significantly higher values than had children from non-smoking homes, controls. Outdoor smoking with the door closed seemed to be the best, though not a total, measure for tobacco smoke protection in the home.

Most parents were aware of the importance of protecting children from tobacco smoke exposure but all were not convinced of the increased risk for disease for exposed children. The majority of parents were not satisfied with the smoking prevention in health-care and 50% did not think that their smoking was of any concern to the child health care nurse.

Further research is warranted to describe if the difference in exposure score related to smoking behaviours is related to different prevalence of disease. Efforts are needed to convince those who still smoke indoors that tobacco smoke exposure influence children’s health and that consequent outdoor smoking with the door closed seemed to give the best protection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2004. 80 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 831
ETS, infant, child, cotinine, smoking behaviour, protective measures, parents, home, tobacco, child health care, ABIS
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-5174 (URN)91-7373-801-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-02-13, Victoriasalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Article I: copyright (2003), with permission from Oxford University Press. On the day of the public defence the status of article III was: Submitted and the status of article VI was: Revised and resubmitted and the original title was: Attitudes to children’s tobacco smoke exposure among smoking and non-smoking parents and their opinions on how the issue is handled in health care.Available from: 2004-03-12 Created: 2004-03-12 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved

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