Following the implementation of a car smoking ban in Scotland in December 2016, there has been a fall in hospital admissions for asthma in children under the age of five. A study demonstrating this was conducted by The University of Glasgow along with The Universities of Aberdeen and Stirling.
The data collected in this study showed which age range was positively impacted by the ban and from which social groups the children came from. It was suggested that social inequalities were a significant factor contributing to the disparities found between deprived and affluent children.
What is second-hand smoking and what are the impacts of it?
Second-hand, or passive, smoking is when those around individuals smoking, who may not be smokers themselves, inhale smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and/or the smoke breathed out by smokers. As a result, these individuals can suffer from similar negative health consequences to smokers (even if they have never picked up a cigarette before!). Children with parents who smoke frequently around them are particularly at risk and therefore legislation such as that outlined above (ie. a car smoking ban) are important for protecting their health.
What are the benefits of such studies?
When studies are carried out, they are designed to provide results that allow social, professional and scientific evolution to occur. By identifying factors that may correlate to specific trends we are more able to introduce effective measures that will help to resolve the problems being faced.
With regard to this study, the results obtained have encouraged experts to consider what steps needed to be taken to tackle the social inequalities that cause disproportional results between different social groups, and in turn, reduce child asthma hospital admissions.
Author: Iqra Ali
Editor: Allegra Wisking