More smoking parents are taking it outside

Household smoking bans

Household smoking bans are taking hold. Smoking is now forbidden in half the U.S. households that contain children and adult smokers. That rate was a paltry 14 percent in the early 1990s.

For younger children, mounting research has identified second-hand smoke as the most certain, and avoidable, asthma trigger. The longer children are exposed to second-hand smoke, the more likely they are to develop the condition. Remarkably, parents are no more likely to quit smoking or smoke outdoors after their child has been diagnosed with asthma. However, the bloodstreams of nearly nine out of 10 apartment-dwelling children contain cotinine – which  is a biomarker for cigarette-smoking exposure – regardless of whether their parents smoke because of seepage through walls and shared ventilation.

Parents have a direct impact on whether their children smoke. Parents are most effective when they specifically seek to persuade children not to smoke, do not smoke themselves and impose a smoking ban at home.

For many smoking parents, it was an inconvenience to go outdoors to smoke. Mercifully, it now is becoming a duty.