European Respiratory Society International Congress

European Respiratory Society International Congress

Source:

Bossley C, et al. Tobacco and Nicotine Research During the Pandemic. Presented at: European Respiratory Society International Congress; Sept. 5-8, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Bossley reports no relevant financial disclosures.
October 11, 2021
1 min read
Save

More children exposed to parental cigarette smoking during COVID-19 lockdown

Source:

Bossley C, et al. Tobacco and Nicotine Research During the Pandemic. Presented at: European Respiratory Society International Congress; Sept. 5-8, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Bossley reports no relevant financial disclosures.
You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, an increase in parental smoking in the household led to significantly more children being exposed to cigarette smoke, researchers reported at the virtual European Respiratory Society International Congress.

“Closure of schools and afterschool clubs due to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused children to spend more time at home, thus increasing their exposure to passive smoke in the home,” Cara J. Bossley, MD(Res), MRCPCH, MBChB, consultant in pediatric respiratory medicine at King’s College Hospital, London, said during a presentation. “We sought to investigate how smoking habits changed in the COVID-19 era.”

smoking
Source: Adobe Stock.

Researchers administered telephone questionnaires to 50 parents of children attending King’s College Hospital respiratory pediatric clinic. All parents had a history of smoking and participated in a smoking-cessation session with a pediatric clinical nurse specialist. Among the questions asked were how much the parents smoked before and after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Before the lockdown, 90% of parents reported smoking and 8% reported vaping only.

Nine percent of parents reported they quit smoking completely or switched to vaping only and 34% reported vaping and smoking during lockdown. However, two-thirds of parents reported smoking the same or more during the lockdown, with anxiety and depression being cited as the reasons why.

When the researchers evaluated scores of hardships during lockdown, the average score was seven out of 10, with many parents reporting stress at home due to the following reasons:

  • looking after children;
  • home schooling;
  • being unable to work, furloughed or loss of job security;
  • boredom; and
  • anxiety and depression prevalent before lockdown, but exacerbated during lockdown.

According to Bossley, children mainly spent time in smoke-free areas before lockdown, such as at school and outside, but due to many parents working from home during the pandemic, many of these parents also brought their smoking habits into the home.

“For future, we need to improve education about the harmful effects of secondhand and thirdhand smoke exposure and provide virtual smoking-cessation clinics,” Bossley said.