The purpose of this study was to reduce tobacco smoke exposure in children with asthma by altering their parents' smoking behavior. Children, especially those with respiratory disease, are at increased health risk when living with a smoker. This investigation offered a new approach for parens who have not successfully quit, buy who wanted to reduce their children's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Ninety-one families with asthmatic children (6-17 years) living in a household with a parent who smoked cigarettes were recruited from four allergy clinics and randomly divided into three groups. During the first six months, those in the experimental group attended behavior modification counseling sessions whereey worked one-on-one with counselors to identify and change smoking patterns as a means of protecting their asthmatic children from parental smoking. They monitored their smoking patterns and their children were evaluated for asthma symptoms. The second group employed all the same monitoring measures of smokng and exposure as the experimental group, but received no counseling. The third group was asked only to use the same room nicotine monitor as the other groups that assessed the amount of passive smoke in the child's living space and attend the same five clinic meetings held at intervals during the one-year period. Exposure was effectively reduced in the counseling group to a greater extent than in the control groups, and the difference maintained for two years post-intervention. The primary outcome results can be viewed at the links below.
Principal Investigator: Mel Hovell, PhD, MPH
Project Coordinator: Susie Meltzer, MPH
Source: Tobacco Related Disease Research Program of the University of California