Children's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the home: comparison of urine cotinine and parental reports

Arch Environ Health. 2002 Nov-Dec;57(6):584-90. doi: 10.1080/00039890209602092.


The authors examined the relationship between parent-reported estimates of children's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the home and children's urinary cotinine levels. Data were collected from a largely ethnic minority, low-income, urban sample of households in which a child had asthma and at least 1 household member smoked. Information about level of household smoking restriction, parental smoking status, and number of cigarettes smoked per day accounted for approximately 45% of the variance in cotinine concentration. Detailed information about the duration of household smoking or children's ETS exposure added no additional significant information. Questionnaires eliciting detailed information about smoking habits and children's ETS exposure may be no better at predicting children's urinary cotinine levels than simpler surveys that inquire about smoking restrictions in the home, parental smoking status, and number of cigarettes smoked at home per day.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cotinine / urine*
  • Environmental Monitoring / statistics & numerical data*
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Ethnicity
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sentinel Surveillance
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Cotinine