Secondhand smoke puts kids with asthma at risk

A new study found the risk for hospitalization doubles for kids with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke.

The study was led by Mayo Clinic Children’s Research Center.

“The results of this review serve as a reminder to parents of just how dangerous it is to expose their children to secondhand smoke,” said Dr. Avni Joshi, senior author and pediatric allergist and immunologist at the center, in a news release. “We knew that kids should not be exposed to tobacco, but how bad their asthma is likely to be with tobacco exposure was not clear. This study helped us quantify that risk, and so it informs as well as empowers us with the risk assessment.”

“A child is twice as likely to end up in the hospital with an asthma flare if family members continue to smoke,” Joshi said.

Researchers did a review of 25 studies looking at smoking exposure at home. More than 430,000 kids – with a mean age of 7.6 years – were included in the review.

The study strengthened the association previous studies have shown between secondhand smoke exposure and increased asthma prevalence, poorer asthma control and increased symptoms, according to the researchers.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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