Effects of tobacco smoke exposure on asthma prevalence and medical care use in North Carolina middle school children

Am J Public Health. 2004 Feb;94(2):308-13. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.2.308.


Objectives: We sought to determine the effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and childhood cigarette smoking on asthma symptoms among middle school children in North Carolina.

Methods: During 1999-2000, information was collected from a survey completed by the children. Outcomes of asthma symptom reporting were regressed on tobacco smoke exposures.

Results: Children who currently smoked or reported any exposure to ETS were at increased risk of reporting active asthma symptoms. Exposure to ETS and childhood cigarette smoking was responsible for 15% of the asthma cases observed in the study population and $1.34 million in excess medical expenditures.

Conclusions: Even at low levels of exposure, childhood cigarette smoking and ETS are independently associated with asthmatic symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Disclosure
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution