Secondhand smoke (SHS) is invasive in nature and negatively affects around 58 million nonsmokers in the United States. Two main avenues of secondhand smoke exposure for children are in the home and in cars where the driver or a passenger is smoking. Just two cigarettes smoked in a car exceed EPA’s safety levels for particulate matter thus putting children’s health significant danger. While volumes of studies have identified the negative physical effects of exposure to SHS, there is a dearth of research exploring the effect of SHS on mental health problems among adolescents. This study examines the relationship between SHS exposure in homes and cars with depressive symptoms in youth. This Capstone Project was a secondary data analysis of the 2011-2012 California Student Tobacco Survey (CSTS). The 2011-2012 CSTS surveyed middle school and high school students in grades 6-12 in California. Students who were exposed to SHS in homes and cars had greater odds of reporting depressive symptoms than students who were not exposed to SHS. The positive associations between SHS exposure in cars and depressive symptoms in middle and high school students substantiates the need for more tobacco control policies that will reduce SHS among youth. This study provides promising evidence for advocacy efforts towards the implementation of smoke-free car initiatives that include all children under 18 across states nationwide.
Presentation: 18 minutes
Bowie, Amber MPH student, "The Association of Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Cars and Homes and Depressive Symptoms Among California Youth" (2015). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 161.