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Study discovers a way to keep infants safe from second-hand smoke

BOSTON - Using a form of counseling aimed at motivating rather than preaching, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute helped smokers reduce by nearly one-third the amount of dangerous second-hand smoke their young children were exposed to, according to a new study.

The results of the Project KISS study (Keeping Infants Safe from Smoke) are encouraging and show that even addicted smokers can change their behavior when they are part of an intervention that provides objective information about the risk that smoking poses for them and their families.

The study's lead author Karen M. Emmons, Ph.D., of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute says the report being published in the July 5 issue of journal Pediatrics is the first to yield objective evidence that an effort to reduce healthy childrens second-hand smoke could lead to a significant reduction exposure in children.

We think a 30-percent reduction in exposure is quite meaningful, says Emmons, adding that the scientists are now conducting analysis of the childrens health data for the year following the trial to determine whether their health improved. Overall, those involved in the study began smoking outside or using other strategies to lower nicotine levels in the rooms where the children spent most of their time. The improvement in the air quality lasted at least six months, the length of the follow-up period.

In a key part of the experiment, the researchers used monitors to detect nicotine in the air of the families homes, giving the smokers an objective readout of the extent to which their indoor air was contaminated.

The intervention proved more effective than a set of self-help materials given to a comparison group of smoking parents. In those smokers homes, nicotine levels actually rose during the study. There havent been many previous studies on reducing second-hand smoke, and virtually none of them showed a reduction in healthy kids exposure using objective measures of exp
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Contact: Janet Haley Dubow
janet_haley@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-5665
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
6-Jul-2001


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