Despite having the second-lowest smoking rate in the U.S., nearly 2.5 million California children ages 12 and younger are at risk of exposure to secondhand smoke, according to a report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, United Press International reports.
For the study, researchers used several years of data from the California Health Interview Survey (United Press International, 10/28).
According to the report, 1.9 million children in California live in homes where at least one person smokes outside the home.
About 561,000 more children live in homes where someone smokes inside the home (Los Angeles Daily Breeze, 10/28).
The study also found that black children were three times more likely to live with smokers and that children from low-income households were more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/27).
Exposure to secondhand smoke places children at higher risk of acute ear infections, asthma and respiratory infections, according to the report.
Researchers wrote that the report's findings "can aid strategies to decrease children's exposure to tobacco smoke in the home through targeted public health messages" (Los Angeles Daily Breeze, 10/28).