Young children living with parents who smoke are exposed to unacceptable health hazards.
To determine patterns of parental smoking, the level of parental awareness about hazards of secondhand smoke, and the effect of risk awareness on smoking behavior.
Health centers affiliated with two teaching hospitals in Tehran.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Data was collected from parents of preschool children visiting the health centers, through face-to-face interview, during a period of 18 months.
Data was analyzed by multiple logistic regression, and analysis of variance was done for comparison of means.
In a total of 647 families, prevalence of parental smoking was 35.7%, (231 families). In 97.8% of smoking families, only the fathers smoked; and in 5 (2.2%) families, both parents were regular smokers. Prevalence of smoking was higher in poor families as compared with families who were well-off (39% vs. 25%; P = 0.025), and also in families with lower educational level. There was no significant difference in risk awareness between smokers and nonsmokers (P > .05).
Low socioeconomic status and low education were identified as risk factors for children's exposure to secondhand smoke; parental risk awareness had no apparent effect on the smoking behavior. Unlike western societies, fathers were the sole habitual smokers in most families. Since factors that influence smoking behavior vary in different cultures, interventional strategies that aim to protect children from the hazards of tobacco smoke need to target diverse issues in different ethnic backgrounds.
2008. Vol. 62, no 6, 228-235 p.