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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Friday, July 14, 2006 - 4:45 PM

Secondhand Smoke (Shs) Exposure among Polish Women and Children in Their Home Environment: Measurement of Nicotine Concentration in Air and Hair

Krzysztof Przewozniak, MA1, Jakub Gumkowski, MA1, Malgorzata Zagroba, MPH2, Pawel Polak, MPH3, Janina Fetlinska, PhD2, and Witold Zatonski, MD, PhD1. (1) Cancer Epidemiology & Prevention Division, Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, 5, Roentgen, Str. 02-781, Warsaw, Poland, (2) Institute of Health Care, 51 Wojska Polskiego Str., Ciechanow, Poland, (3) Department of Health Promotion and Education, Municipal Hospital, 2 Powstancow Wielkopolskich Str., Ciechanow, Poland

Introduction: Polish epidemiologists estimate that enforced passive smoking is major risk factor for children's health (at age 0 to 5). Every year about 75,000 Polish newborns and 4 million children grow in tobacco smoke environment. It also results from the magnitude of SHS exposure among pregnant women (30%).

Objective: To measure SHS exposure among non smoking women and children in their homes.

Methods: The Polish study was conducted by the Health Promotion Foundation in community of Ciechanow, Poland within the international research project coordinated by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, USA. SHS exposure was measured in 40 homes by three

methods: (i) passive air nicotine filters, (ii) collecting hair sample from non-smoking women and children (at age of 7 to 10) to assess nicotine concentration, (iii) face-to-face questionnaire.

Results: Study results show that only 8% of smoking parents never smoked in children's presence. Preliminary results of the air nicotine concentration demonstrate big difference between smoking and non-smoking homes. Nicotine concentration was even 150 times higher in homes where smoking was permitted than in smoke-free homes. According to the GYTS results, about 80% of non-smoking schoolchildren is exposed to SHS in their homes. There is a need to develop community-based tobacco smoke prevention program to protect children from health hazards of tobacco smoke at their home environment. This program could be based on the US Environmental Protection Agency / World Health Organization project that was successfully conducted at pilot stage in Poland and Latvia.