Cardiovascular Consequences of Childhood Secondhand Tobacco Smoke Exposure: Prevailing Evidence, Burden, and Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities

Published: September 12, 2016

  • In the U.S, 4 out of 10 school aged children and 1 out of 3 adolescents are involuntarily exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) with children of minority ethnic backgrounds and those living in low socioeconomic status households being disproportionately affected (68% and 43% respectively).
  • Epidemiological, observational and experimental studies have demonstrated detrimental long-term cardiovascular consequences of exposure to secondhand smoke in utero and during childhood such as higher risk of future obesity, endothelial dysfunction, arterial stiffness, arrhythmia, and premature atherosclerosis.
  • Measures to reduce smoking in the home and community can reduce children’s exposure to secondhand smoke.