BACKGROUND:

Secondhand smoke (SHS) causes disease and death among nonsmokers. Private settings are major sources of exposure for children. We assessed prevalence and determinants of self-reported SHS exposure in homes and vehicles, as well as school, work, and indoor/outdoor public areas, among US students in grades 6 through 12.

METHODS:

Data were from the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey (n = 18 406). Self-reported SHS exposure within the past 7 days was assessed overall and by extent of smoke-free home and vehicle rules among never users of 10 tobacco product types. Descriptive statistics were used to compare estimates, and adjusted prevalence ratios were calculated to assess determinants of SHS exposure.

RESULTS:

Among never tobacco users, 48.0% reported SHS exposure in 1 or more locations, including 15.5% in the home, 14.7% in a vehicle, 16.8% at school, 27.1% at work, and 35.2% in an indoor/outdoor public area. Home exposure was 8.5%, 55.3%, and 79.4% among never tobacco users with complete, partial, or no smoke-free home rules, respectively (P < .05). Vehicle exposure was 7.1%, 44.8%, and 70.2% among never tobacco users with complete, partial, or no smoke-free vehicle rules, respectively (P < .05). Factors associated with higher prevalence ratio of SHS exposure included current tobacco use, truant behavior, and having tobacco using household members/friends

CONCLUSIONS:

Approximately half of US students in grades 6 through 12 reported exposure to SHS in 2013. Smoke-free home and vehicle rules, coupled with intensified implementation and enforcement of comprehensive smoke-free laws, could help protect youth from this preventable health hazard.

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