Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 25-May-2012, Vol 125 No 1355
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Youth experiences of secondhand smoke exposure in New Zealand: evidence from 5 national surveys (2000 to 2008)
Louise Marsh, Rob McGee, Andrew Gray, Rhiannon Newcombe, Rose Patterson
To describe trends in young people’s exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS), and to their exposure to household rules around smoking in New Zealand (NZ) over the period 2000 to 2008.
We examined self-assessed perceptions of exposure to SHS in the home and while travelling in vehicles, and home smoking restrictions, both inside the home (indoor) and on the property (outside). Data were from the 2000, 2002 and 2004 Youth Lifestyle Study and 2006 and 2008 Youth In-depth Survey of 14- to 15-year-olds in NZ.
Downward trends in young people being exposed to SHS at home since 2000 (p<0.001) and in vehicles since 2002 (p<0.001) were found. Unrestricted indoor and outdoor smoking declined, with 31% of homes being completely smokefree in 2008. Māori and Pacific young people were significantly more likely to be exposed to SHS at home (OR 3.2 and 2.0 respectively) and in vehicles (OR 3.1 and 2.3 respectively).
Declining rates of SHS exposure for young people in their homes and while travelling in vehicles are encouraging. However, 35% of young people are still being exposed to SHS in their homes and 32% in vehicles. Although smokefree homes are increasing, there is still much work needed to reduce the rates of SHS exposure for our young people, and especially Māori and Pacific young people.
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