Passive smoking in childhood. Respiratory conditions and pulmonary function in Tecumseh, Michigan

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1986 Jun;133(6):966-73. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1986.133.6.966.


The relationship of passive smoking to respiratory conditions and pulmonary function was assessed using a cross-sectional design in the defined population of Tecumseh, Michigan. The study population was made up of 3,482 children who were 0 to 19 yr of age at the 1962-1965 examination and for whom questionnaire information was available for both parents. Nearly 62% of children in this age group were exposed at the time of examination to at least 1 parent who smoked. Passive exposure to cigarette smoke was associated with an elevated prevalence of phlegm, wheeze, asthma, and chest colds among males and wheeze, bronchitis, and chest colds among females. Using logistic regression, offspring were shown to be 1.5 to 2.0 times more likely to have a respiratory condition if both their parents currently smoked than if both parents never smoked. FEV1, and FVC among males and Vmax50 among females were significantly lower by 5% in nonsmokers 10 to 19 yr of age whose parents were current smokers compared with similar offspring of never smoking parents. Respiratory conditions were generally more frequent and the level of lung function was generally lower for males from households where only mothers smoked compared with males from households where only fathers smoked, although sample size was limited. In females similar relationships were less consistent. Differences tended to be larger and more often significant for males than for females when respiratory symptoms and illnesses were examined.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Body Height
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution