Reduction of environmental tobacco smoke exposure in asthmatic children. A 2-year follow-up

Chest. 1997 Jan;111(1):81-8. doi: 10.1378/chest.111.1.81.


Study objective: To examine the long-term maintenance of a previously reported behavioral counseling intervention to reduce asthmatic children's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

Participants: Families of asthmatic children (6 to 17 years), including at least one parent who smoked in the home, recruited from four pediatric allergy clinics.

Design: Participants were randomized to one of three groups: behavioral counseling to reduce ETS exposure, self-monitoring control, and usual medical care control. Counseling concluded at month 6, and the original trial ended at month 12. Two follow-up interviews occurred at months 20 and 30.

Measurements and results: The originally reported analysis of baseline to 12 months was reanalyzed with a more robust restricted maximum likelihood procedure. The 2-year follow-up period was analyzed similarly. Significantly greater change occurred in the counseling group than the control groups and was sustained throughout the 2 years of follow-up. Further exploratory analyses suggested that printed counseling materials given to all participants at month 12 (conclusion of the original study) were associated with decreased exposure in the control groups.

Conclusion: Such long-term maintenance of behavior change is highly unusual in the general behavioral science literature, let alone for addictive behaviors. We conclude that ETS exposure can be reduced and that a clinician-delivered treatment may provide substantial benefit.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma* / physiopathology
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Child
  • Counseling
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution