Appears to be the case only for youths not exposed to secondhand smoke at home

-- Monica Smith

Monday, June 7, 2010 (Last Updated: 06/08/2010)

MONDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smoke-free air laws appear effective in reducing cotinine levels in youths, though these effects may be negated by exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) inside the home, according to research published online June 7 in Pediatrics.

Melanie S. Dove, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues used data from the 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine the serum cotinine levels of 11,486 nonsmoking youths from 117 locations. They categorized the locations as having extensive, limited, or no coverage under a smoke-free law.

The researchers found that children living in counties with extensive coverage and not exposed to SHS in the home had an adjusted 0.61 times the prevalence of detectable cotinine and 0.57 times lower geometric mean cotinine than those living in an area without a smoke-free law. Children who were exposed to home SHS and lived in a location with an extensive smoke-free air law had lower geometric mean cotinine than those who were exposed to home SHS but lived in counties without such a law, but these differences disappeared after adjusting for covariates.

"These results suggest that smoke-free laws are an effective strategy for reducing cotinine in youth without home SHS exposure; however, among youth with home SHS exposure, no benefit was detected," the authors write.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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