Teen Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Cars Declines

But, about one in four nonsmoking teens is still exposed to secondhand smoke in cars

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in cars has significantly declined among middle school and high school students over the last decade, but approximately a quarter of nonsmoking students are still exposed, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Pediatrics.

Brian A. King, Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, analyzed data from the 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2009 waves of the National Youth Tobacco Survey, a nationally representative survey of U.S. students in grades six to 12.

The researchers found that, between 2000 and 2009, the prevalence of SHS exposure in cars decreased significantly among both nonsmokers (from 39.0 to 22.8 percent) and smokers (from 82.3 to 75.3 percent). Among nonsmokers, this decrease occurred across all school levels, genders, and race/ethnicity subgroups.

"SHS exposure in cars decreased significantly among U.S. middle and high school students from 2000 to 2009. Nevertheless, in 2009, over one-fifth of nonsmoking students were exposed to SHS in cars," the authors write.

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