Background: Since most smoker parents of children with asthma are unable to quit, an alternative measure that would reduce their children's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is to ban smoking in the home.
Methods: Compared with 136 usual-care controls, 128 intervention-group parents recruited from South Australian pediatric hospital outpatient waiting rooms were given written and verbal feedback about their 1- to 11-year-old child's urinary cotinine-to-creatinine level, information booklets, and two telephone calls encouraging a ban on smoking at home.
Results: At 6 months, 49.2% of the intervention group reported having banned smoking in the home compared with 41.9% of controls, but the differential rate of change from baseline was not significant (P = 0.40). At follow-up, there were no significant differences between groups in the percentage reporting bans on smoking in the car, the mean reduction from baseline in total daily consumption or consumption in front of the child, children's urinary cotinine level, or parental smoking cessation.
Conclusions: The intervention did not change parents' propensity to create or maintain bans on smoking in their homes or otherwise change smoking habits to reduce their children's exposure to ETS. More intensive interventions may be required to achieve change among low-income smoker parents of children with asthma.
Copyright 2002 American Health Foundation and Elsevier Science.