Associations Between Household Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Health Problems Among Non-Smoking Adolescents in the Republic of Korea
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This study examined the association between household secondhand smoke exposure (HSHSE) and health status among non-smoking adolescents in Korea using two subsamples obtained from nationally representative cross-sectional secondary data: males (n = 25,653) and females (n = 31,187). Two self-reported HSHSE measures included exposure to household secondhand smoke during the week before the survey (yes or no) and number of days of HSHSE (1–7 days); and five self-reported health problems included asthma, perceived stress, depression, suicidal ideation, and self-rated health. For each subsample, this study performed (1) multivariate logistic regressions to examine HSHSE effects on asthma, depression, and suicidal ideation; and (2) multiple linear regressions to examine HSHSE effects on perceived stress and self-rated health. The rate and number of days of HSHSE were significantly higher among females (30.1% and 3.4 days) than among males (25.9% and 3.1 days). In both subsamples, HSHSE was associated with all five health problems (ORs 1.15–1.32; βs: 0.04–0.14). An increase in the number of days of HSHSE was positively associated with (1) greater perceived stress and poorer self-rated health in both subsamples (βs: 0.01–0.04), and (2) greater odds of asthma, depression, and suicidal ideation in the female subsample (ORs 1.03–1.12). Given the findings related to the strong associations (1) between HSHSE and physical, mental, and general health problems; and (2) between days of HSHSE and a greater number of health problems in females, health professionals should actively implement interventions that encourage adult smokers to stop smoking in their homes.
KeywordsSecondhand smoke Environmental tobacco smoke Passive smoking Health Adolescents
The author expresses her sincere thanks to Mr. Jon Mann, College Instructor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Academic Center for Excellence, for reviewing and editing this manuscript.
Compliance With Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
There are no conflicts of interest to declare.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
The author analyzed secondary data. The IRB waived the requirement for obtaining informed consent due to the use of the de-identified data.
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