Recent research has shown that up to 48% of parents who bring their children to the pediatric emergency department (PED) smoke. Given this high prevalence of tobacco use, the PED visit represents an opportunity to educate parents about how illnesses such as asthma, bronchiolitis, lower respiratory infections and ear infections are linked to secondhand smoke exposure. The PED also is an ideal venue to counsel parents on smoking cessation.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders in childhood, affecting an estimated 9 million U.S. children under 18 years of age.

In 2010, asthma accounted for 3,404 deaths, 439,400 hospitalizations, 1.8 million emergency department visits and 14.2 million physician office visits. Secondhand smoke exposure is strongly associated with increased morbidity in children with asthma, including increased symptom severity, more frequent exacerbations and higher numbers of emergency department visits. Unfortunately, up to 53% of children with asthma are exposed to...

You do not currently have access to this content.