Children's health in families with cigarette smokers

Am J Public Health. 1981 Mar;71(3):290-3. doi: 10.2105/ajph.71.3.290.


Recent studies have indicated higher rates of certain respiratory conditions among children who live in households with adults who smoke cigarettes. This paper analyzes data from the 1970 National Health Interview Survey. Children in families with no smokers had an average of 1.1 fewer restricted-activity days and 0.8 fewer bed-disability days per year than did children in families with two smokers. Children in families with one smoker were in between. Acute respiratory illness accounted for the difference in disability days among children in families with different smoking characteristics. Family smoking was also measured by the combined number of cigarettes smoked by adults; children in families which smoked 45 or more cigarettes a day had 1.9 more restricted activity days and 0.9 more bed-disability days due to acute respiratory conditions than did children in families who did not smoke cigarettes. The age of the child, the number of adults in the family, the education of the family head, and the family income were all controlled and did not eliminate the relationship between children's health and family smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Status
  • Family*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology
  • Sampling Studies
  • Smoke*
  • Smoking*
  • Tobacco
  • United States


  • Smoke