A pilot study on secondhand tobacco exposure: Parental knowledge about health impact and feasibility of cessation

Hina Walia, Rebecca Miller, Dmitry Tumin, Joseph D. Tobias, Roby Sebastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: As the primary source of smoke exposure is in the home, the smoking behaviors of parents and other caregivers are key determinants of a child’s exposure to secondhand smoke. The perioperative period offers an opportunity to discuss smoking cessation strategies. Methods: This prospective study included 97 parents or caregivers of patients undergoing dental surgery. Caregivers were surveyed in the dental waiting room during the preoperative phase. The primary aim was to determine the feasibility of using the preoperative encounter to offer smoking cessation resources to parents of pediatric patients. The secondary aim was to compare willingness to receive smoking cessation resources according to the knowledge of the risks of secondhand smoking (ie, being aware of secondhand smoking and knowing that it posed a risk to their child). Results: Awareness of risks due to secondhand smoking was 65% in the overall cohort and 58% among current smokers (P=0.284 vs nonsmokers). Among smokers in our study, only a small percentage (12%) were interested in smoking cessation help. Knowledge of the risks of secondhand smoke may not be sufficient for smokers to express willingness to receive help. Conclusion: The outpatient clinic may be a teaching opportunity for smoking cessation for caregivers. However, we found that only a small percentage of caregivers were interested in receiving information about smoking cessation. This was despite the fact they were aware of the potential adverse effects of secondhand smoke on their children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalDrug, Healthcare and Patient Safety
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Caregivers
  • Health impact
  • Smoking cessation
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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