Exposure of children to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and its association with respiratory ailments

J Asthma. 2003;40(5):571-6. doi: 10.1081/jas-120019029.


Objectives: To assess the impact of domestic passive smoking (cigarettes or narghile) on the development of respiratory ailments among children ages 10-15 years.

Methods: Students were recruited from five private schools in Beirut, and information on demographic, in-home smoking, and students' respiratory tract illnesses (cough, wheezing, runny nose, or nasal congestion) were collected from each participant.

Results: Of 625 students surveyed, 438 (70.1%) had at least one individual smoking at home. Compared with the nonexposed group, the odds ratio of having respiratory illness for children exposed to narghile or cigarette smoke were 2.3 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.1-5.1) and 3.2 (95% CI 1.9-5.4), respectively.

Conclusions: In addition to the well-established effect of smoking, domestic passive smoking of the misconceived "innocuous" habitual smoking device, narghile, is associated with significant respiratory health ailments.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lebanon / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Male
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution