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UW study examines children’s exposure to secondhand smoke

Shamane Mills

Wisconsin Public Radio

A new University of Wisconsin-Madison study examines how the nation is doing in terms of keeping children away from secondhand smoke exposure.

Ana Martinez-Donate, an associate professor of population health sciences, examined census data from 8,000 homes where parents smoke. She said a majority of smoking households have voluntary rules against lighting up around kids.

"It's good news that 60 percent of homes who have children don't allow smoking in the home," Martinez-Donate said.

She said the bad news is that 40 percent of the households still allow smoking.

About 84 percent of parents were against smoking in the car. However, the survey didn't ask whether smoking actually occurred in the car. Seven states ban smoking in cars when children are present: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Utah and Vermont.

One of the goals of Healthy People 2020, a health promotion program overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is to increase the number of U.S. homes where people don't smoke around children.

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