HealthDay News — Nearly half of American teens who’ve never used tobacco are exposed to harmful secondhand smoke – many in their homes and family cars, according to research published online January 11 in Pediatrics.

Brian King, PhD, MPH, deputy director for research translation in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health, and cafolleagues analyzed data from 18 406 middle school and high school students.

Analyzing questionnaire responses from students in grades 6 through 12 in 2013, the team found that 48% reported exposure to secondhand smoke; 15.5% were exposed to secondhand smoke at home and 14.7% in a vehicle. Additionally, 16.8% reported secondhand smoke exposure at school, 27.1% at work, and 35.2% in indoor and outdoor public areas. Secondhand smoke exposure was reportedly nine times higher among never-smoking teens with no smoke-free rules in their home and car, compared to those with 100% smoke-free rules.

“The findings weren’t really a surprise as much as a call for public health action,” King told HealthDay. “We did assess the extent of exposure based on whether youth were [protected] by smoke-free policies, and it’s no surprise that those covered by policies had lower exposure.”

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