Respiratory effects of secondhand smoke exposure among young adults residing in a "clean" indoor air state

David J. Lee, Noella A. Dietz, Kristopher L. Arheart, James D. Wilkinson, John D. Clark, Alberto J. Caban-Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of self-reported secondhand smoke (SHS) exposures and its association with respiratory symptoms in a sample of young adults residing in a state with a partial clean indoor air law. A cross-sectional telephone survey of Florida households and a single state University was conducted in 2005. Enrolled participants between 18 and 24 years of age completed a 15-20 min interview assessing past and current SHS exposure and current respiratory symptoms (n = 1858). Approximately 60% of the sample were female; nearly 70% were non-Hispanic white, 10% were non-Hispanic Black, and 11% were Hispanic. Over two-thirds reported completing at least some college; 23% reported smoking in the past month. Nearly two-thirds (64%) reported visiting a bar or nightclub which exposed them to SHS in the previous month; nearly half (46%) reported SHS exposure while riding in automobiles; 15% reported occupational SHS exposure; and nearly 9% reported living with at least one smoker. In multivariable models, personal smoking behavior, parental smoking history, and exposure to SHS in automobiles and in bars or nightclubs were significantly associated with increased reports of respiratory symptoms. Despite residing in a "clean" indoor air state, the majority of surveyed young adults continue to report exposure to SHS, especially in automobiles and in bars, and these exposures adversely impact respiratory health. All municipalities should pursue clean indoor air legislation which does not exempt bars and restaurants. Educational campaigns directed at reducing SHS exposure in motor vehicles also are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Depressive symptoms
  • Health policy
  • Occupational health
  • Sign and symptoms, respiratory
  • Tobacco smoke pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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