Study in Ky., 3 other states indicates exposure to secondhand smoke in vehicles can cause asthma attacks in non-smokers

Kentucky adults who have never smoked are more likely to have an asthma attack when exposed to secondhand smoke in a vehicle than those who are not exposed, according to a research paper recently published in Tobacco Control, an international, peer-reviewed journal.

The study looked at 17,863 adults in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi who said they had never smoked; 7.4 percent reported having asthma, and 12.3 percent reported exposure to secondhand smoke in a vehicle in the past seven days.

As expected, the study found that adults with asthma in vehicles in which smoking was voluntarily prohibited had less exposure to secondhand smoke, 9.5 percent, than those in vehicles without such a prohibition, 56.7 percent.

The conclusion was that adults exposed to secondhand smoke in a vehicle had a higher odds of having current asthma compared to unexposed adults, says the study’s lead author, Kimberly Nguyen of the Office on Smoking and Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, part of the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention

Data for the research came from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and was restricted to states that offered information on secondhand smoke. The data, from 2011, was gathered via telephone from adults aged 18 or older. The article is available for purchase here.

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