Pediatric surgery and parental smoking behavior

Anesthesiology. 2011 Jul;115(1):12-7. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182207bde.


Background: Secondhand smoke exposure poses health risks to children, including increased risks for anesthesia. In adult smokers, surgery serves as a teachable moment to motivate quitting. For parents who smoke, having a child undergo surgery may also serve as a teachable moment for smoking behavioral change. This study determined if there is an association between children undergoing a surgical procedure and changes in their parents' smoking behavior.

Methods: Secondary analyses were performed using logistic regression analysis of 2005 survey data from the National Health Interview Survey. Analyses included 9,289 parent respondents who provided information on both themselves and their children.

Results: Of the sampled children, 1,112 (12.6%, 95% CI:11.7, 13.4) lived in a home with at least one person who smoked inside in a usual week. In multivariate analysis of the relationship between parent and child surgical history in the past 12 months and smoking behavior, surgery in either the parent (odds ratio 2.19, 95% CI: 1.55, 3.08) or child (odds ratio 2.61, 95% CI: 1.56, 4.35) was associated with an increased likelihood of a quit attempt by the parent. However, these attempts were more likely to be successful if the parents (odds ratio 2.35, 95% CI: 1.35, 4.07), not their child (odds ratio 0.51, 95% CI: 0.20, 1.28), had surgery within the past 12 months.

Conclusions: Parents who smoke were more likely to make a quit attempt within the past 12 months if their children had surgery within this time, but they were not more likely to succeed in maintaining abstinence and thus could benefit from assistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anesthesia*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Parents*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution