Household Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Risk of Allergic Sensitization Among Children with Asthma

Open access


Background: Exposure to cigarette smoke is causing health problems, its components are known to possess carcinogenic, mutagenic, cytotoxic or irritant properties. Prevalence of smoking in pregnant women is between 17% and 35% worldwide. Passive smoking is identified as a factor with negative impact on health, and children are especially vulnerable. Children raised in families with smokers have a higher incidence of respiratory infections, recurrent wheezing, bronchitis, nocturnal cough and asthma. The aim of this study was determination of sensitization to various allergens in children exposed to cigarette smoke compared with children not exposed to cigarette smoke.

Material and method: One-hundred eighty children treated in Pediatric Clinic 1 of Tîrgu Mureș were included in the study between 2008- 2011. The patients were divided into two groups: 50 children exposed to cigarette smoke and 130 children not exposed. Measurement of lung function was performed in children over 4 years using a spirometer. Serum specific IgE was analyzed to inhalatory and food allergens. Wheezing phenotype was determined in children younger than 4 years and exposure to cigarette smoke was evaluated based on parents' responses to questionnaires.

Results: There was a significantly greater likelihood of developing sensitivity in children exposed to tobacco smoke than in those not exposed to dermatophagoides pteronissimus, dermatophagoides farinae, milk and grass pollen.

Conclusions: During early childhood both pre- and postnatal tobacco smoke exposure has an adjuvant effect on allergic sensitization inhalatory and food allergens.

1. Lee JP, Battle RS, Lipton R, Soller B. Smoking: use of cigarettes, cigars and blunts among Southeast Asian American youth and young adults. Health Educ Res. 2010;25(1):83-96.

2. Goodman J. Tobacco in History: The Cultures of Dependence. Routledge, London and New York, 1995, 80-81.

3. Graves B. Tabacco use. Capstone Press, Minnesota, 2000, 14-19.

4. Bhalla DK, Hirata F, Rishi AK et al. Cigarette smoke, inflamation, and long injury: a mechanistic perspective. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2009;12(1):45-64.

5. Prescott SL. Effects of early cigarette smoke exposure on early immune development and respiratory disease. Paediatric Breathe Rev. 2008;9(1): 3-9.

6. Kvalvik LG, Skjaerven R, Haug K, Smoking during pregnancy from 1999 to 2004: a study from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2008;87(3):280-5.

7. WHO Tobacco Control Country Profiles, Second Edition, 2003. Available online at

8. Pietinalho A, Pelkonen A, Rytila P. Linkage between smoking and asthma. Allergy 2009;64(12):1722-7.

9. Aycicek A, Ipek A. Maternal active or passive smoking oxidative causes stress in cord blood. Eur J Pediatr. 2008;167(1):81-5.

10. Noakes PS, Thomas R, Lane C et al. Association of maternal smoking with infant increased oxidative stress at 3 month of age. Thorax. 2007; 62 (8):714-7.

11. Carlsen KH, Carlsen KC. Respiratory effects of tobacco smoking on Infants and young children. Paediatric Breathe Rev. 2008;9(1):11-9; quiz 19-20.

12. Stocks J, Dezateux C. The effect of smoking on long term parenteral function and development during infancy. Respirology. 2003;8(3):266-85.

13. Kulig M, Luck W, Wahn U. The association between pre- and postnatal tobacco smoke exposure and allergic sensitization during early childhood. Multicenter Allergy Study Group, Germany. Hum Exp Toxicol. 1999;18(4):241-4.

14. Lannerö E, Wickman M, van Hage M et al. Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and sensitisation in children. Thorax. 2008;63(2):172-6

Acta Medica Marisiensis

The Journal of The University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu-Mures

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 92 91 5
PDF Downloads 34 33 3