Protecting our children against second-hand smoke

This 40-page report: reviews current research, spells out the health consequences for children of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, makes detailed recommendations on what can be done to protect children in various environments.

The report was published in partnership with respected and recognized leaders in the tobacco control community, including Dr Jonathan Samet, senior scientific editor of the 2004 and 2006 US Surgeon General's reports on smoking and health.

What is new in this report?

  • The report builds on article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which commits governments that ratify the treaty to act against environmental tobacco smoke.
  • It is based on the latest scientific evidence, including the US Surgeon General's 2006 report on the health effects of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and more recent research.
  • It assesses the levels of exposure to second-hand smoke among children, using biomarkers such as the amount of cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine) in their urine, blood or saliva, or other markers such as the quantities of respirable suspended particles (RSPs), nicotine or carbon monoxide in the air they breathe.
  • The report makes new recommendations In the light of the most recent research to governments, policymakers and health professionals, reflecting the best current scientific opinion.
  • It backs a new trend in many parts of the world to ban smoking in all vehicles, even private cars, where children are present. Until recently, cars were thought to be beyond the reach of legislation.

But most importantly, the report and the campaign focus on a key area which is beyond the reach of government action: the health of children in their own homes, where they spend most of their time, and where they are most vulnerable.

Resource Information
Type of Resource: 
UICC, Margaret A Hawthorne, Lindsay M Hannan, Michael J Thun, Jonathan M Samet
Target Audience: 
Medical Professionals
Last update: 
Friday 7 June 2019