The effects of tobacco smoke exposure on respiratory health in school-aged children

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2008 Mar;9(1):21-7; quiz 27-8. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2007.11.005.


The effects of tobacco smoke exposure on the respiratory health of school-aged children relate to persisting effects of exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and early infancy, passive exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the home and elsewhere, and active smoking during later childhood. Much of the current evidence comes from cross-sectional and longitudinal observational studies and suggests that, for asthma and pulmonary function outcomes, the strongest associations are with smoke exposure in pregnancy and early childhood, although independent effects of later exposure are reported. Exposure in later childhood to environmental tobacco smoke is associated with increased respiratory symptoms, although for some of these, the effect appears to diminish with increasing age of the child. There is currently a paucity of evidence on the long-term adverse respiratory consequences of active smoking by children and adolescents, but such evidence there is suggests that these may be substantial.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution