Parental Smoking in the Vicinity of Children and Tobacco Control Policies in the European Region
Objective: To ascertain patterns of parental smoking in the vicinity of children in Eastern and Western Europe and their relation to Tobacco Control Scale (TCS) scores.
Methods: Data on parental smoking patterns were obtained from the School Child Mental Health Europe (SCMHE), a 2010 cross-sectional survey of 5141 school children aged 6 to 11 years and their parents in six countries: Germany, Netherlands, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey ranked by TCS into three level categories toward tobacco control policies.
Results: A slightly higher proportion of Eastern compared to Western European mothers (42.4 vs. 35.1%) were currently smoking in but the difference was not statistically significant after adjusting for maternal age and maternal educational attainment. About a fifth (19.3%) and a tenth (10.0%) of Eastern and Western European mothers, respectively, smoked in the vicinity of their children, and the difference was significant even after adjustment for potential confounders (p less than 0.001). Parents with the highest educational attainment were significantly less likely to smoke in the vicinity of their children than those with the lowest attainment. After control of these covariates lax tobacco control policies, compared to intermediate policies, were associated with a 50% increase in the likelihood of maternal smoking in the vicinity of children adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.52 and 1.64. Among fathers, however, the relationship with paternal smoking and TCS seems more complex since strict policy increases the risk as well AOR = 1,40. Only one country, however belongs to the strict group.
Significance: Tobacco control policies seem to have influenced maternal smoking behaviors overall to a limited degree and smoking in the vicinity of children to a much greater degree. Children living in European countries with lax tobacco control policies are more likely to be exposed to second hand smoking from maternal and paternal smoking.
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- July 8, 2013