Tel Aviv Study Finds That Parents Who Smoke Tend to Underestimate the Effects of Second-hand Smoke on Their Children

A study conducted by the friends of Tel Aviv University (Tau), found that parents who smoke, overwhelmingly relied on their own physical senses to gauge their children’s exposure to tobacco smoke. This study was published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research, a peer-reviewed journal exclusively dedicated to the study of nicotine and tobacco. This study was led by Dr. Laura Rosen of TAU’s School of Public Health and Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

According to Dr. Rosen, “This reliance on their own physical sensory perceptions leads to misconceptions of when and where children are exposed to tobacco smoke.” Dr. Rosen elaborated that, “Many parents believe they are taking adequate measures to protect their children from damage of cigarette smoke. But we found that they are not even aware of some of the exposure, and therefore do not take sufficient measures to protect their children.”

The Tau research team interviewed 65 parents of young children across Israel who admit to smoking at home. The researchers found that most of the parents believed that if they themselves did not see nor smell the smoke, then their children were not exposed and possibly affected. Some of the parents believed that if they smoked on a balcony, open window, or any well-ventilated area, their children would not inhale the second-hand smoke in the air.

However, past research has already shown that 85% of smoke is invisible and some components of cigarette smoke are also odorless. Dr. Rosen explained that the main purpose of this research study is to raise awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke to children. Prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to permanent lung and cardiovascular damage to children especially, since their bodies are still in development.

Most primary medical care centers and urgent care clinics in the USA offer smoking cessation options as well as information on the health effects of second-hand smoke. Doctors there, can readily identify any physical abnormalities that could be a result of nicotine and tobacco exposure. You may walk-in or schedule an appointment at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics by visiting our website at or calling (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.