About a third of American children age 18 or younger live with an adult smoker and are at increased risk for respiratory and other health problems, says the latest News and Numbers report released Wednesday by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The report, which looked at 2004 data, found that:
- White children (34 percent) and black children (31 percent) were more likely than Hispanic children (24 percent) to live with an adult smoker.
- Children in lower-income homes were nearly twice as likely to live with an adult who smokes than children in higher-income homes - 40 percent vs. 22 percent.
- Adult education levels affected children's risk of living with a smoker. About 40 percent of children in homes in which no adult had 13 or more years of education were exposed to second-hand smoke, compared with 25 percent of children in homes with an adult who had 13 or more years of education.
- About 36 percent of children in the Midwest and 33 percent of children in the South lived with at least one adult smoker, compared with 28 percent of children in the Northeast and 25 percent of children in the West.
- Children with asthma were as likely as children without asthma to live in homes with smokers.
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