The authors evaluated the frequency of exposure to tobacco smoke among
children suffering from respiratory tract infections. The investigations comprised 141 children aged from 2
months to 6 years that were treated in the
2nd Department of Pediatric and Allergology of Polish Mother’s Memorial
Hospital Research Institute in ?ód? (Poland). 69 of them were exposed to
tobacco smoke in their home environment. The remaining 72 children came from
non-smoking families. 26 (37.7%) individuals among the passive smokers and 15
(20.83%) among the children from non-smoking families suffered from recurrent
respiratory tract infections. Cotinine concentrations were evaluated in the
group of 69 children using the HPLC-UV method. The determined average cotinine/creatinine index expressed as
median was higher in passive
smokers with recurrent respiratory infections than among passive smokers with
non-recurrent respiratory infections. Moreover, it was stated that the exposure
to cigarette smoke was more
often among children of younger and less well educated parents as well as living
in poorhousing conditions. These
studies clearly indicate that there is
a need for extensive education on the harmful effects of passive smoking and
the recurrence of infections.
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