Kids From Homes With Smokers Miss More School

by updated 2011/09/05

Another day, another smoking study.   According to researcher Douglas Levy of the Mongan Institute for Health Policy: “Among children aged 6 to 11 who live with smokers 1/4 to 1/3 of school absences are due to household smoking”.   This one makes a lot of sense, assuming that adults who smoke do their puffing in the home but I thought that was a thing of the past.  Do most smokers with children really still smoke in their homes?  Maybe they don’t and the study results are what they are for other reasons.  For example, because smokers, in general, get more colds and flu than non-smokers, maybe they pass those on to their kids even if the kids are not exposed to 2nd hand smoke.  On the other hand, once in a while I will see someone driving and smoking with a baby or children in the car.  I just assume those people are idiots in all aspects of their lives, but maybe not?  Do otherwise decent people smoke while in confined space with their kids?

While scanning radio stations while driving, I heard a couple of radio personalities bantering about this study.  One of them stated something along the line of smokers are more irresponsible in general, so it makes sense that their kids would miss more school.  She thought maybe it was not because of illness, but for other reasons.  The other announcer challenged the statement about smokers being less functional and the reply was interesting, to say the least.  Supposedly many professionals, (doctors, nurses, law enforcement, etc.), make initial judgments of the people they deal with based on whether they are smokers or not.  One claim, for instance, is that smoking is a high indicator of drug abuse.  This seems a bit crazy to me, but then again I don’t know too many smokers well enough to have insight into their personal lives.

Will Sig
1 Binky

There are a lot a of aspects to consider. Smokers are probably less healthy in general, and may end up having less healthy babies, or babies with more health problems or congenital defects. And even if parents smoke outside or away from their kids, their kids will probably still be exposed to some of the smoke. Also kids are probably more likely to smoke if their parents do, and some probably start sneaking cigarettes at an early age.
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2 jan

I think Binky has covered most of my comments. What are the laws in the US and UK? In Australia they are really coming down hard on smokers, you can no longer smoke within 4 metres of a business doorway, no smoking in pubs, clubs, restaurants or anywhere food is served, no smoking on government property and no smoking in cars with kids – parents have already received fines. They are also going to introduce plain packaging for all smokes – the disgusting gory pictures obviously didn’t work!! Despite everything the rates of young girls starting to smoke is still rising!
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3 Will

There are similar laws here in the US but many smokers don’t follow them all. For example you are not supposed to smoke within 10 feet of entrances to buildings. But many do it anyway.

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4 Tony McGurk

It is illegal to smoke in cars with children in them here but so many smokers don’t seem to care. They seem to feel that their rights to smoke is elevated above anyone elses rights to breath smoke free air. We have 3 smokers at work & despite the not smoking near building entrances rules they always smoked right outside the warehouse roller door. When ever I would complain about the stinking smell drifting into the warehouse the response was always “It’s the designated smoking area” The boss smokes & he was the one who designated it. I looked up the legal requirements of designated areas & it wasn’t to be anywhere near where smoke could enter the building by doors, windows, ventilation intakes etc. I kicked up a fuss until the boss finally agreed to move them away from the roller door entry. I was very unpopular with them for several days afterwards. They carried on as though I was trying to take away some of their basic human rights. I wasn’t asking them not to smoke, just not near the door.

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5 Will

I get what you are saying. Sort of like “Please, we are not asking that you not smoke, just please do not smoke in the bathroom that the rest of us have to use”. I have actually heard a smoker seriously say that they absolutely can not go unless they are smoking.

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6 Anna

So I have been reading, that children can actually be allergic to smoke, flu like symptoms and constipation. I personally hate smoke and I can smelled from far away. We are lucky that in our town they are implementing no smoking at the playgrounds. Anna :)
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