Sultana Habibullah, Illahi Bukhsh M Soomro.
Effect of smoking on the health of family members in District South Karachi.
Pak J Med Res Jan ;48(2):44-7.

Background: The inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers is termed as passive smoking or involuntary smoking, or smoke inhaled by non-smoker is also known as second hand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke, which produces acute and chronic effects on humans. Objective: To see the effects of passive smoking on respiratory illness and pulmonary functions in smoker and non-smoker family members(spouse and children only) in District South of Karachi and to estimate the magnitude of such illness, risk factors and association. Methods: This community based retrospective cohort study was conducted in two groups of individuals; 437 smoker and 405 non-smoker family members (spouse and children only) selected randomly using multi-stage sampling method from three towns of District South of Karachi. Data was collected through a questionnaire where information was sought from about various respiratory complaints like cough, chest tightness, allergy etc. Peak flow reading of sample persons (excluding children under 5) using Mini Bell Peak Flow Meter was measured. Data was analyzed by using SPSS version 10. Results: The study showed that 100(23%) individuals living with smokers gave history of respiratory illness (allergic rhinitis, wheeze and chronic cough) as compared to 78(19%) [RR=1.2; 95% Confidence Interval CI: (0.9–1.5) non-smoker family members. This percentage was 24(20%), 54(23%) and 42(25%) in smoker families in Saddar, Lyari and Jamshed town as compared to 24(17%), 26(20%) and 28(21%) in non-smoker families in these respective towns. It was also found that respiratory illness in spouses, children 6 years and above and under 5 was 19(22%), 59(20%) and 25(36%) in smoker families as compared to 14(16%), 52(23%) and 31(33%) in non-smoker families. The study further showed that most common symptom of respiratory illness in children under 5 was wheeze and cough, in children 6 years and above it was allergic rhinitis and in spouse it was asthma. There was no significant difference in peak flow readings in the two groups of families. Long duration of exposure to passive smoking and sharing bedroom (smoker bedroom) were two risk factors for respiratory illness found statistically significant in this study. Although the relative risk of developing respiratory illness was more in smoker as compared to non-smoker families but this was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Respiratory illness was more in smoker families as compared to non-smoker families, long duration of exposure to passive smoking and sharing of bedroom (smoker bedroom) were two major risk factors for respiratory illness.

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