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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

East Tennessee Documents Secondhand Smoke Exposure among Never-Smoking Youth in 168 Countries

Dr. Hadii Mamudu, in the Department of Health Services Management and Policy, East Tennessee State University College of Public Health has published research on the extent to which never-smoking youth, aged 13 to 15, are exposed to second-hand smoke. Dr. Mamudu, along with several colleagues including alumni Sreenivas Veeranki, who was first author on the paper, Yan Cao, and David Kioko, and fellow faculty Jim Anderson and Shimin Zheng, published “Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Never-Smoking Youth in 168 Countries” in the Journal of Adolescent Health.


Using data from the nationally representative Global Youth Tobacco Surveys, from 168 countries between 1999 and 2008, the authors evaluated secondhand smoke exposure in three locations — inside the home, outside the home, and both.  Of 356,414 adolescents who had never smoked, 30.4%, 44.2% and 23.2% were exposed inside the home, outside the home, and both, respectively.  Approximately 14% of adolescents had both smoking parents and smoking peers.  Compared with never-smoking adolescents who did not have both smoking parents and smoking peers, those with both smoking parents and smoking peers had 19 times, 8 times and 23 times higher odds of exposure inside, outside, and both inside and outside the home, respectively.

In addition to the significant health concerns, Dr. Mamudu is also concerned about the psychological impact of this exposure.  “When kids are continuously exposed to smoking, they see it as acceptable,” he explained. “Then the possibility of them taking up smoking is also high.”

Dr. Mamudu hopes sharing this data with policy makers will result in even stiffer policy for smoking in public places and in the presence of minors.  He believes aggressive education about secondhand smoke exposure also is crucial to reducing the numbers of children who are exposed to secondhand smoke both inside and outside their homes.

Dr. Mamudu oversees the Tobacco Policy Research Program at ETSU:  and has published extensively on issues related to global tobacco policy.