Children exposed to tobacco smoke use more emergent health services

tobacco
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Tobacco smoke-exposed children utilize emergency and urgent care services more often than unexposed children, which contributes to a large toll on the nation's health care system, says research led by the University of Cincinnati.

The study, recently published in the journal PLOS ONE, concluded:

  • Children who are exposed to tobacco smoke have higher pediatric emergency department visit costs compared to unexposed children.
  • A higher number of tobacco smoke-exposed children had an urgent care visit over a one-year period compared to unexposed children.
  • Tobacco smoke-exposed children had nearly twice the risk of being admitted to the hospital over a one-year period compared to unexposed children.

"Despite major progress in , about 4-in-10 children remain exposed to tobacco smoke. This exposure places developing children at higher risk for many , including respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchiolitis and pneumonia," says health services researcher and lead author Ashley Merianos, an associate professor of health promotion and education in UC's School of Human Services.

Merianos is also a research affiliate member of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the Thirdhand Smoke Research Consortium and the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium.

The study, Merianos says, also lends insight into preventions such as standardizing and initiating tobacco smoke exposure reduction interventions in the urgent care, emergency and inpatient settings and promoting voluntary smoke-free home and car policies to help reduce children's tobacco smoke exposure and related consequences.

"If every were to use each pediatric visit as an opportunity to screen and advise parents who smoke or vape to counsel parents about the dangers of secondhand and thirdhand smoke exposure to their , rates of pediatric exposure would decline," says pediatric emergency physician and senior author Melinda Mahabee-Gittens, a professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's.


Explore further

Study finds secondhand smoke sends more kids to the hospital

More information: Ashley L. Merianos et al. Healthcare resources attributable to child tobacco smoke exposure, PLOS ONE (2021). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247179
Journal information: PLoS ONE

Citation: Children exposed to tobacco smoke use more emergent health services (2021, March 24) retrieved 17 October 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-03-children-exposed-tobacco-emergent-health.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors