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Children in Low-Income Families More Likely to Live in Homes Where Smoking is Permitted

Aug 27, 2018

Exposure to secondhand smoke can have a negative impact on a child’s health. Thus, the 2017 Child Well-Being Survey asked parents and guardians in the Greater Cincinnati region whether they allowed people to smoke in their home. In the region overall, only 7% of caregivers allowed people to smoke in their home. Children in lower-income families, however, were more likely to be exposed. Among parents and guardians earning 100% or less of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), 20% allowed smoking in their homes. This compared with 10% of guardians earning between 100 and 200% FPG, and only 4% of guardians earning above 200% FPG.

The 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health asked a similar question about exposure to smoking. Nationwide, 3% of families reported that someone smoked in their child’s home, less than locally.

“While tobacco use overall has declined dramatically in the last two decades, certain groups continue to have disproportionately higher rates, including lower-income populations,” said O’dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of Interact for Health. “Thus, it is imperative that we pursue comprehensive tobacco-control efforts that are designed to protect all members of our communities.”

To further this work in our region, Interact for Health is accepting grant proposals from organizations for projects to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke among low-income adults and youth in the Greater Cincinnati region. Over the next five years, up to $700,000 will be awarded to projects to focus on evidence-based tobacco policy change and innovation to reduce tobacco disparities. For additional details, visit

About the Child Well-Being Survey

The 2017 Child Well-Being Survey is funded by Interact for Health and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, with support from the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. It was conducted March 5-Aug. 9, 2017, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 2,757 adult caregivers from a 22-county region in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana was interviewed. This included 1,056 landline interviews and 1,701 cell phone interviews with cell phone users. In 95 of 100 cases, the estimates will be accurate to ± 1.9%. There are other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question wording or context effects that can introduce error or bias. For more information about the Child Well-Being Survey, please visit

About Interact for Health

Interact for Health is improving the health of all people in our region. We serve as a catalyst by promoting health equity through grants, education, research, policy and engagement. To amplify the impact of our work, Interact for Health focuses on three strategic priorities: reducing tobacco use, addressing the opioid epidemic and ensuring that children have access to health care through school-based health centers. We are an independent foundation that serves 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

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