J Epidemiol Community Health 45:188-194 doi:10.1136/jech.45.3.188
  • Research Article

Quantifying health aspects of passive smoking in British children aged 5-11 years.

  1. S Chinn,
  2. R J Rona
  1. Department of Public Health Medicine, United Medical School, London, United Kingdom.


      STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to estimate the dose-response relations of height and respiratory symptoms to passive smoking in children aged 5-11 years. DESIGN--The study was an analysis of existing observational studies, comprising three samples: English representative; English inner city; Scottish representative. SETTING--Primary schools (children aged 5-11 years). PARTICIPANTS--The study population included 5002 English children from the representative sample (69.1% of total eligible), 2903 English inner city children (42.0%), and 3319 representative Scottish children (75.6%). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--No significant relation was found between child's height and total parental smoking in the home. Relative risk for persistent wheeze on exposure to 20 cigarettes per day was 1.35, compared to no exposure. Risk of at least one respiratory condition attributable to passive smoking reached 8.1% in white English inner city children. CONCLUSIONS--The relation of child's height to passive smoking was not substantiated. The risk of respiratory conditions resulting from passive smoking, although small, is not negligible.