Objective Children are vulnerable to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure because of limited control over their indoor environment. Homes remain the major place where children may be exposed to SHS. Our study examines the magnitude, patterns and determinants of SHS exposure in the home among children in 21 countries (19 low-income and middle-income countries and 2 high-income countries).
Methods Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) data, a household survey of people 15 years of age or older. Data collected during 2009–2013 were analysed to estimate the proportion of children exposed to SHS in the home. GATS estimates and 2012 United Nations population projections for 2015 were also used to estimate the number of children exposed to SHS in the home.
Results The proportion of children younger than 15 years of age exposed to SHS in the home ranged from 4.5% (Panama) to 79.0% (Indonesia). Of the approximately one billion children younger than 15 years of age living in the 21 countries under study, an estimated 507.74 million were exposed to SHS in the home. China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines accounted for almost 84.6% of the children exposed to SHS. The prevalence of SHS exposure was higher in countries with higher adult smoking rates and was also higher in rural areas than in urban areas, in most countries.
Conclusions A large number of children were exposed to SHS in the home. Encouraging of voluntary smoke-free rules in homes and cessation in adults has the potential to reduce SHS exposure among children and prevent SHS-related diseases and deaths.
- Secondhand smoke
- Surveillance and monitoring
- Global health
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Collaborators GATS Collaborative Group.
Contributors LM made substantial contributions to conception and design, analysis, interpretation of data and writing of the manuscript. KMP made substantial contribution to conception and design, review and revision of the manuscript. LA conducted the data analysis for the manuscript. JM contributed to the design, review and revision of the manuscript. RB contributed to the design, review, analysis and revision of the manuscript. HF contributed to the review and revision of the manuscript in relation to the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. NR contributed to the review and revision of manuscript in relation to the WHO AFRO Region. RC contributed to the review and revision of the manuscript in relation to the Americas Region. RCD contributed to substantial review and revision of the manuscript in relation to the WHO European region. TMAW contributed to the review and revision of the manuscript in relation to the WHO European Region. DNS contributed to the review and revision of the manuscript in relation to the WHO South East Asia Region. MK contributed to the review and revision of the manuscript in relation to the WHO Western Pacific Region. ETd provided a World Health Organization critical review and perspective to the manuscript.
Funding GATS was supported by the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ministries of Health in Greece, India, Malaysia, Panama, Qatar and Thailand.
Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization or the governments of Argentina, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, the Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay or Viet Nam.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Country Global Adult Tobacco Survey data sets used in this study are available online at CDC: http://nccd.cdc.gov/GTSSData/Ancillary/DataReports.aspx?CAID=2.