Passive smoking, gas cooking, and respiratory health of children living in six cities

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984 Mar;129(3):366-74. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1984.129.3.366.


As part of a longitudinal study of the respiratory health effects of indoor and outdoor air pollutants, pulmonary function, respiratory illness history, and symptom history were recorded at 2 successive annual examinations of 10,106 white children living in 6 cities in the United States. Parental education, illness history, and smoking habits also were recorded, along with the fuel used for cooking in the child's home. Maternal cigarette smoking was associated with increases of 20 to 35% in the rates of 8 respiratory illnesses and symptoms investigated, and paternal smoking was associated with smaller but still substantial increases. Illness and symptom rates were linearly related to the number of cigarettes smoked by the child's mother. Illness rates were higher for children of current smokers than for children of ex-smokers. The associations between maternal smoking status and childhood respiratory illnesses and symptoms were reduced but not eliminated by adjustment for parental illness history. Levels of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) were significantly lower for children of current smokers than for children of nonsmokers at both examinations and highest for children of ex-smokers. Levels of forced vital capacity (FVC) were lower for children of nonsmokers than for children of current smokers at both examinations, but the difference was statistically significant only at the first examination. Both the increase in mean FVC and the decrease in mean FEV1 among children of current smokers were linearly related to daily cigarette consumption. None of the respiratory illnesses and symptoms studied was significantly associated with exposure to gas cooking in the child's home.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Cooking
  • Female
  • Fossil Fuels / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Urban Population


  • Air Pollutants
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution