Background: The smoking ban in public places has reduced Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) exposure for non-smokers, but despite this, domestic environments still remain places at high risk of exposure, and, today, about 40% of children worldwide are exposed to ETS at home. The aims of the study are to investigate the contribution of several factors on ETS exposure among a group of Italian children and to evaluate the changes in smoking precautions adopted at home when the smoker is the mother, the father, or both parents, respectively. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on a sample of 519 Italian schoolchildren. Information was collected via a questionnaire. Results: 41.4% of the participants lived with at least one smoker. Almost half of the children exposed to ETS lived with one or more smokers who do not observe any home smoking ban. Lower maternal or paternal educational levels significantly increase the risk of ETS exposure at home and the "worst case" is represented by both parents who smoke. Conclusions: More effective preventive interventions are needed to protect children from ETS exposure. Some interventions should be specifically dedicated to smokers with a low educational level and to mothers that smoke.
Keywords: Environmental Tobacco Smoke; children; educational level; ethnicity; home smoking policies; smoking ban.