Respiratory effects on household exposures to tobacco smoke and gas cooking

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1981 Aug;124(2):143-8. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1981.124.2.143.


The records of 1,724 residents of Washington County, Maryland, who had participated in 2 studies of respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function were analyzed to evaluate the effects of exposures at home to tobacco smoke generated by other members of their households and to fumes from the use of gas as a cooking fuel. Currently smoking subjects showed the highest frequency of respiratory symptoms and impaired ventilatory function; former smokers showed a lower frequency of these findings; and persons who had never smoked had the lowest prevalence of abnormal respiratory findings. The presence of a smoker in the household other than the subject was not associated with the frequency of respiratory symptoms, and only suggestively associated with evidence of impaired ventilatory function. The use of gas for cooking was related to an increased frequency of respiratory symptoms and impaired ventilatory function among men, being most marked among men who had never smoked. There was not evidence that cooking with gas was harmful to women.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Fossil Fuels / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory System / drug effects*
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoke*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vital Capacity


  • Air Pollutants
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Smoke