According to a new study, providing parents who smoke with measurements of their home’s indoor air quality (IAQ), in addition to usual smoking advice, leads to better IAQ and reduces children’s exposure to second hand smoke.
The study carried out by scientists at the University of Aberdeen and University of Edinburgh aimed to establish whether measurements of IAQ would provide an incentive for parents who smoke to change their habits.
The study which involved 40 families and took place over one month was not aimed at getting parents to quit; but to change their smoking patterns to ensure that the child was not exposed. This included encouraging them to smoke outside of the home and asking visitors not to smoke in their home.
“Smoking is one of the most harmful, but potentially modifiable, lifestyle activities...We have previously observed how parents who smoke find it very hard to quit despite understanding the harmful effects of second hand smoke on children, ” said Dr Steve Turner, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Child Health at the University of Aberdeen
“We measured IAQ over a 24 hour period and in half of the homes studied and showed parents the IAQ levels (which reflect smoke concentration in the air in their homes) to improve understanding of the harm done to the children. In the remainder of the houses we gave the IAQ measurement results back at the end of the month long study. In homes where the IAQ information was provided at the start of the study, air quality improved by one third over the month long study.”