Clinical Edge

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Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Nonsmokers

MMWR; 2018 Dec 7; Tsai, Homa, et al

Although secondhand smoke exposure among US nonsmokers declined during 1988‒2014, this progress has stalled in recent years, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Researchers from the CDC analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to assess patterns of secondhand smoke exposure among US nonsmokers from 1988‒2014. They found:

  • The prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure among US nonsmokers declined substantially during 1988-2014, from 87.5% to 25.2%.
  • However, no change in exposure occurred between 2011‒2012 and 2013‒2014.
  • An estimated 1 in 4 nonsmokers (~58 million persons) were still exposed to secondhand smoke during 2013‒2014.
  • Exposure prevalence was highest among nonsmokers aged 3-11 years, non-Hispanic blacks, and those living in poverty, in rental housing, or with someone who smoked inside the home.


Tsai J, Homa DM, Gentzke AS, et al. Exposure to secondhand smoke among nonsmokers—United States, 1988‒2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67:1342–1346. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6748a3.

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