Asthma Patients Readmission twice as likely for kids exposed to passive smoking

A new research has made some startling revelations about the passive smoking or secondhand smoking in the kids suffering from asthma. The study says, children who have asthma are much more likely to be readmitted to the hospital if they are exposed to secondhand smoke.

The study comes at a time when the American Heart Association (AHA), in response to a new Surgeon General’s Report, has expressed need for more action against tobacco.


The research was led by Dr. Robert Kahn from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. Researchers from Penn State Milton S. Hershey Children’s Hospital in Pennsylvania also participated in the study.

The researchers carried study on over 600 children in the age group 1 to 16. These were the children who were admitted to the hospital for asthma or bronchodilator-responsive wheezing between August 2010 and October 2011. The researchers followed these children for at least 12 months to see if they were readmitted to the hospital in that time.

The researchers measured cotinine levels in the kids to scientifically assess tobacco exposure. Cotinine is a substance produced when the body breaks down nicotine in the blood and saliva of the human.

During the study, the researchers found that of the total children participated in the study, 17% were readmitted within a year. Although tobacco exposure rates as reported by parents totaled 35.1%, the researchers found that serum and saliva measures were high.  Serum was found to be actually 56.1%, while saliva was found to be 79.6%.

The experts say, secondhand smoke or passive smoking causes ‘irreparable harm’ in children especially those suffering from asthma.

According to the researchers, the findings of the study may encourage insurance companies to give incentives to parents or guardians who quit smoking.

Moreover, the findings  could potentially help some of the 7.1 million children in the US who are affected with asthma as per the reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.