Children Face High Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, CDC Says

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Approximately 58 million Americans — including two out of every five children between the ages of 3 and 11 — continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke, according to a recent report from the CDC.

The Vital Signs report notes that exposure to secondhand smoke decreased by about 50 percent between 1999–2000 and 2011–2012. However, the CDC states that exposure continues to be higher among several groups — children, blacks, the poor and people who rent their homes — according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Among black children specifically, exposure is especially high: Roughly seven in 10 are exposed to secondhand smoke, the CDC reported. For children, the main exposure to secondhand smoke occurs in the home, the report added.

Researchers used a blood test to determine the level of exposure to secondhand smoke.