THURSDAY, Dec. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Infants from low-income, nonurban families have a high magnitude of environmental smoke exposure, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Lisa M. Gatzke-Kopp, Ph.D., from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, and colleagues recruited 1,292 families in six nonurban counties of Pennsylvania and North Carolina to examine the magnitude and chronicity of secondhand and thirdhand exposure to tobacco smoke. At 6, 15, 24, and 48 months of age, cotinine was assayed from infant saliva for 1,218 infants and was categorized as low (≤0.45 ng/mL), moderate (0.46 to 12 ng/mL), or high (≥12 ng/mL).

The researchers observed a high magnitude of exposure in this sample: About 12 percent of infants registered cotinine values of at least 12 ng/mL, which was consistent with active smoking in adults. There was a correlation for greater exposure with lower income, less education, more residential instability, and more instability in adult occupants in the house. Lower exposure was seen in association with time spent in center-based day care.

“These findings suggest that additional consideration may need to be given to policies aimed at thirdhand routes of exposure, and mechanisms by which nonsmoking parents could introduce nicotine into their child’s environment,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Salimetrics and Salivabio.

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