Air quality device helps reduce children's exposure to smoke in the home

Providing parents who smoke with measurements of their homes indoor air quality (IAQ), in addition to usual smoking advice, leads to better IAQ and reduces children's exposure to second hand smoke.

The study discussed at the British Science Festival today, carried out by University of Aberdeen scientists in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and ASH Scotland, aimed to establish whether measurements of IAQ would provide an incentive for parents who smoke to change their habits.

The study which involved 40 families and took place over 1 month was not aimed at getting parents to quit; instead to change their patterns to ensure that the child was not exposed.  This included encouraging them to smoke outside of the home and asking visitors not to smoke in their home.

Dr Steve Turner, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Child Health at the University of Aberdeen said: "Smoking is one of the most harmful, but potentially modifiable, lifestyle activities in modern Britain. We have previously observed how parents who smoke find it very hard to quit despite understanding the harmful effects of on children." 

Dr Turner continued: "We measured IAQ over a 24 hour period and in half of the homes studied we showed parents the IAQ levels (which reflect smoke concentration in the air in their homes) to improve understanding of the harm done to the children. In the remainder of the houses we gave the IAQ measurement results back at the end of the month long study. In homes where the IAQ information was provided at the start of the study, improved by one third over the month long study.

reported they found getting a number which described how high their quality was provided extra motivation to change their . Based on the results of the study, the researchers hope to use indoor air quality measurements as part of smoking interventions in different settings – for example maternity hospitals and occupational health.

Dr Turner concluded "We hope that in the future information will be a useful part of routine practice in smoking cessation practice across the UK both within and outside the NHS".

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Secondhand smoke a risk for children worldwide

Mar 05, 2008

Parents worldwide are doing little to protect their children from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Exposure to secondhand smoke has ...

Children held captive in smoky vehicles

May 01, 2011

It is absolutely unacceptable to subject children to any tobacco smoke exposure in cars, according to the authors of an abstract to be presented Sunday, May 1, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

5 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

7 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

User comments