To develop and test an intervention to reduce children’s exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) at homes in Yerevan, Armenia.


A single-blind, randomized trial in 250 households with 2- to 6-year-old children tested an intensive intervention (counseling sessions, distribution of tailored educational brochures, demonstration of home air pollution, and 2 follow-up counseling telephone calls) against minimal intervention (distribution of standard leaflets). At baseline and 4-month follow-up, researchers conducted biomonitoring (children’s hair) and surveys. The study used paired t tests, McNemar’s test, and linear and logistic regression analyses.


After adjusting for baseline hair nicotine concentration, child’s age and gender, the follow-up geometric mean (GM) of hair nicotine concentration in the intervention group was 17% lower than in the control group (P = .239). The GM of hair nicotine in the intervention group significantly decreased from 0.30 ng/mg to 0.23 ng/mg (P = .024), unlike in the control group. The follow-up survey revealed an increased proportion of households with smoking restrictions and decreased exposure of children to SHS in both groups. The adjusted odds of children’s less-than-daily exposure to SHS at follow-up was 1.87 times higher in the intervention group than in the control group (P = .077). The GM of mothers’ knowledge scores at follow-up was 10% higher in the intervention group than in the control group (P = .006).


Intensive intervention is effective in decreasing children’s exposure to SHS through educating mothers and promoting smoking restrictions at home. However, superiority over minimal intervention to decrease children’s exposure was not statistically significant.

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