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1.  Changes in Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Among Youth in Nebraska, 2002–2006 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2008;5(3):A84.
Introduction
Secondhand smoke is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. It has been associated with serious health problems in both children and adults. Efforts to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in Nebraska have included programs to prevent tobacco use among young people and campaigns for smoke-free workplaces and homes. Despite these interventions, young people continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke at an unacceptably high rate. The objective of this study was to examine the extent to which Nebraska public middle and high school students were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2002 and 2006, to evaluate factors associated with this exposure, and to propose interventions.
Methods
The Nebraska Youth Tobacco Survey was administered in 2002 and 2006 to a representative sample of students from public middle and high schools. All students who chose to participate completed an anonymous, self-administered survey that included questions on demographics, tobacco use, tobacco-related knowledge and attitudes, and exposure to secondhand smoke. Data were weighted to account for nonresponses at both student and school levels and to ensure generalizability of the estimates for public school students in Nebraska according to their grade, sex, and race/ethnicity. This study analyzed a subset of responses on secondhand smoke exposure, which was defined as being in a room or vehicle during the previous 7 days with someone who was smoking cigarettes.
Results
Secondhand smoke exposure in a room, a vehicle, or both declined significantly among all students from 2002 (69.0%) to 2006 (61.3%). In both 2002 and 2006, students were significantly more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke in a room than in a vehicle (64.4% vs 48.2% in 2002 and 56.9% vs 40.2% in 2006). Among racial and ethnic groups, only white students experienced a significant decline in exposure from 2002 (70.0%) to 2006 (61.4%). Girls were significantly more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke in 2006 than were boys, and only boys experienced a significant overall decline in exposure from 2002 (69.3%) to 2006 (57.7%). Smoking behaviors and attitudes continued to influence secondhand smoke exposure from 2002 to 2006, although students experienced significant declines whether they were smokers or nonsmokers, and whether they lived with a smoker or not. Those with close friends who smoked and those who did not perceive secondhand smoke as harmful, however, did not benefit.
Conclusion
These data indicate reductions in exposure to secondhand smoke among Nebraska's middle and high school students, but exposure remains a problem, particularly in rooms. Adoption of a comprehensive statewide smoke-free policy will contribute to significantly reduced exposure to secondhand smoke among young people in public places, but other measures to address exposure in the home and private vehicles are needed or should be strengthened. These include physician counseling based on behavioral change theory to encourage cessation and home-based no-smoking rules, in addition to interventions that target minorities, who are disproportionately affected by secondhand smoke exposure. Evaluation of existing measures, such as programs to prevent tobacco use among young people and campaigns to collect pledges for smoke-free homes, will be required to determine their effectiveness in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke among youth in Nebraska.
PMCID: PMC2483572  PMID: 18558034
2.  “Efforts to Reprioritise the Agenda” in China: British American Tobacco's Efforts to Influence Public Policy on Secondhand Smoke in China 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(12):e251.
Background
Each year, 540 million Chinese are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS), resulting in more than 100,000 deaths. Smoke-free policies have been demonstrated to decrease overall cigarette consumption, encourage smokers to quit, and protect the health of nonsmokers. However, restrictions on smoking in China remain limited and ineffective. Internal tobacco industry documents show that transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) have pursued a multifaceted strategy for undermining the adoption of restrictions on smoking in many countries.
Methods and Findings
To understand company activities in China related to SHS, we analyzed British American Tobacco's (BAT's) internal corporate documents produced in response to litigation against the major cigarette manufacturers to understand company activities in China related to SHS. BAT has carried out an extensive strategy to undermine the health policy agenda on SHS in China by attempting to divert public attention from SHS issues towards liver disease prevention, pushing the so-called “resocialisation of smoking” accommodation principles, and providing “training” for industry, public officials, and the media based on BAT's corporate agenda that SHS is an insignificant contributor to the larger issue of air pollution.
Conclusions
The public health community in China should be aware of the tactics previously used by TTCs, including efforts by the tobacco industry to co-opt prominent Chinese benevolent organizations, when seeking to enact stronger restrictions on smoking in public places.
Monique Muggli and colleagues study British American Tobacco (BAT) internal documents and find that from the mid 1990s BAT pursued a strategy aimed at influencing the public debate on secondhand smoke in China.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Each year, about one million people die in China from tobacco-caused diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. Although most of these deaths occur among smokers—300 million people smoke in China, accounting for one-third of the global “consumption” of cigarettes—more than 100,000 deaths from tobacco-related causes occur annually among the 540 million Chinese people who are exposed to secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoke contains 4,000 known chemicals, 69 of which are known or probable carcinogens, and, when it is produced in enclosed spaces, both smokers and nonsmokers are exposed to its harmful effects. The only effective way to reduce tobacco smoke exposure indoors to acceptable levels is to implement 100% smoke-free environments—ventilation, filtration, and the provision of segregated areas for smokers and nonsmokers are insufficient. Importantly, as well as protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, the implementation of smoke-free public places also reduces the number of cigarettes smoked among continuing smokers, increases the likelihood of smokers quitting, and reduces the chances of young people taking up smoking.
Why Was This Study Done?
Article 8 of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC; an international public-health treaty that seeks to reduce tobacco-caused death and disease) calls on countries party to the treaty to protect their citizens from secondhand smoke exposure. China became a party to the FCTC in 2005 but restrictions on smoking in public places in China remain limited and ineffective. Previous analyses of internal tobacco industry documents have revealed that transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) have used a multifaceted approach to undermine the adoption of restrictions on smoking in many countries. TTCs have been shown to influence media coverage of secondhand smoke issues and to promote ineffective ventilation and separate smoking and nonsmoking areas in restaurants, bars, and hotels (so-called “resocalization of smoking” accommodation principles) with the aim of undermining smoke-free legislation. In addition, TTCs have created organizations interested in non-tobacco-related diseases to draw attention away from the public-health implications of secondhand smoke. In this study, the researchers ask whether TTCs have used a similar approach to undermine the adoption of restrictions on smoking in China, one of the most coveted cigarette markets in the world by the major TTCs.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed internal corporate documents produced by British American Tobacco (BAT; the predominant TTC in China) in response to litigation against major cigarette manufacturers stored in document depositories in Minnesota, USA and Guildford, UK. Among these documents, they found evidence that BAT had attempted to divert attention from secondhand smoke issues toward liver disease prevention by funding the Beijing Liver Foundation (BFL) from its inception in 1997 until at least 2002 (the most recent year that BAT's corporate records are available for public review). The researchers also found evidence that BAT had promoted “resocialization of smoking” accommodation principles as a “route to avoid smoking bans” and pushed ventilation and air filtration in airports and in establishments serving food and drink. Finally, the researchers found evidence that BAT had sought to “present the message that ‘tobacco smoke is just one of the sources of air polution [sic] and a very insignificant one compared with other pollutants'” through presentations given to the Chinese tobacco industry and media seminars aimed at Chinese journalists.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, beginning in the mid 1990s and continuing until at least 2002, BAT has followed an intensive, multi-pronged strategy designed to undermine the health policy agenda on secondhand smoke in China. Given their findings, the researchers suggest that BFL and other charitable organizations in China must be wary of accepting tobacco money and that measures must be taken to improve the transparency and accountability of these and other public organizations. To meet FCTC obligations under Article 5.3 (industry interference), policy makers in China, they suggest, must be made aware of how BAT and other TTCs have repeatedly sought to influence health policy in China by focusing attention toward the adoption of ineffective air filtration and ventilation systems in hospitality venues rather than the implementation of 100% smoke-free environments. Finally, Chinese policy makers and the media need to be better informed about BAT's long-standing attempts to communicate misleading messages to them about the health effects of secondhand smoke.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050251.
The World Health Organization's Regional Office for the Western Pacific provides smoking statistics for China and other countries in the region
The World Health Organization provides information on the health problems associated with secondhand smoke, about its Tobacco Free Initiative (available in several languages), and about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (also available in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to information about the dangers of secondhand smoke (available in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Smokefree Web site provides information about the advantages of giving up smoking, how to give up smoking, and the dangers associated with secondhand smoke
British American Tobacco documents stored in the Minnesota and Guildford Depositories, including those analyzed in this study, can be searched through the British American Tobacco Documents Archive
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050251
PMCID: PMC2605899  PMID: 19108603
3.  Tobacco Use, Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, and Cessation Counseling Among Health Professions Students: Greek Data from the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS). 
We conducted the GHPSS (Global Health Professions Student Survey) to obtain information regarding health profession students’ smoking habits and perceptions, exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) as well as level of knowledge and training on tobacco use and smoking cessation counseling. GHPSS is a survey for third-year students in the following fields: health visitors, dentistry, medicine, nursing and/or pharmacy. The highest tobacco use prevalence rate and exposure to SHS were recorded among health visitor students with 46.4% and 33.3% respectively. The majority of the respondents believed that their profession serves as a role model for their patients. Formal training on cessation counseling ranged between 10.7% for health visitor students to 22.4% for nursing students. The relatively high percentage of health profession students who currently smoke and the alarmingly high percentage of those exposed to SHS indicate lack of concerted efforts for implementation and effective enforcement of the anti-tobacco policy measures. Despite its significance, formal training on cessation counseling for students is strikingly low. These results indicate the urgent need to train health professional students on tobacco cessation counseling and educate them on the dangers of tobacco use, SHS and the positively influential role they can play to affect their patients’ smoking habits.
doi:10.3390/ijerph9010331
PMCID: PMC3315079  PMID: 22470295
tobacco; smoking; prevalence; students; secondhand smoke; health profession; cessation; survey
4.  Association of Secondhand Smoke Exposure with Pediatric Invasive Bacterial Disease and Bacterial Carriage: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(12):e1000374.
Majid Ezzati and colleagues report the findings of a systematic review and meta-analysis that probes the association between environmental exposure to secondhand smoke and the epidemiology of pediatric invasive bacterial disease.
Background
A number of epidemiologic studies have observed an association between secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and pediatric invasive bacterial disease (IBD) but the evidence has not been systematically reviewed. We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of SHS exposure and two outcomes, IBD and pharyngeal carriage of bacteria, for Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis), Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae).
Methods and Findings
Two independent reviewers searched Medline, EMBASE, and selected other databases, and screened articles for inclusion and exclusion criteria. We identified 30 case-control studies on SHS and IBD, and 12 cross-sectional studies on SHS and bacterial carriage. Weighted summary odd ratios (ORs) were calculated for each outcome and for studies with specific design and quality characteristics. Tests for heterogeneity and publication bias were performed. Compared with those unexposed to SHS, summary OR for SHS exposure was 2.02 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.52–2.69) for invasive meningococcal disease, 1.21 (95% CI 0.69–2.14) for invasive pneumococcal disease, and 1.22 (95% CI 0.93–1.62) for invasive Hib disease. For pharyngeal carriage, summary OR was 1.68 (95% CI, 1.19–2.36) for N. meningitidis, 1.66 (95% CI 1.33–2.07) for S. pneumoniae, and 0.96 (95% CI 0.48–1.95) for Hib. The association between SHS exposure and invasive meningococcal and Hib diseases was consistent regardless of outcome definitions, age groups, study designs, and publication year. The effect estimates were larger in studies among children younger than 6 years of age for all three IBDs, and in studies with the more rigorous laboratory-confirmed diagnosis for invasive meningococcal disease (summary OR 3.24; 95% CI 1.72–6.13).
Conclusions
When considered together with evidence from direct smoking and biological mechanisms, our systematic review and meta-analysis indicates that SHS exposure may be associated with invasive meningococcal disease. The epidemiologic evidence is currently insufficient to show an association between SHS and invasive Hib disease or pneumococcal disease. Because the burden of IBD is highest in developing countries where SHS is increasing, there is a need for high-quality studies to confirm these results, and for interventions to reduce exposure of children to SHS.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The deleterious health effects of smoking on smokers are well established, but smoking also seriously damages the health of nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke (SHS), which is released by burning cigarettes and exhaled by smokers, contains hundreds of toxic chemicals that increase the risk of adults developing lung cancer and heart disease. Children, however, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of SHS exposure (also known as passive smoking) because they are still developing physically. In addition, children have little control over their indoor environment and thus can be heavily exposed to SHS. Exposure to SHS increases the risk of ear infections, asthma, respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, and breathlessness), and lung infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis in young children and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome during the first year of life.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several studies have also shown an association between SHS exposure (which damages the lining of the mouth, throat, and lungs and decreases immune defenses) and potentially fatal invasive bacterial disease (IBD) in children. In IBD, bacteria invade the body and grow in normally sterile sites such as the blood (bacteremia) and the covering of the brain (meningitis). Three organisms are mainly responsible for IBD in children—Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), and Neisseria meningitidis. In 2000, S. pneumonia (pneumococcal disease) alone killed nearly one million children. Here, the researchers undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between SHS exposure in children and two outcomes—IBD and the presence of IBD-causing organisms in the nose and throat (bacterial carriage). A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic; meta-analysis is a statistical method that combines the results of several studies. By combining data, it is possible to get a clearer view of the causes of a disease than is possible from individual studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 30 case-control studies that compared the occurrence of IBD over time in children exposed to SHS with its occurrence in children not exposed to SHS. They also identified 12 cross-sectional studies that measured bacterial carriage at a single time point in children exposed and not exposed to SHS. The researchers used the data from these studies to calculate a “summary odds ratio” (OR) for each outcome—a measure of how SHS exposure affected the likelihood of each outcome. Compared with children unexposed to SHS, exposure to SHS doubled the likelihood of invasive meningococcal disease (a summary OR for SHS exposure of 2.02). Summary ORs for invasive pneumococcal disease and Hib diseases were 1.21 and 1.22, respectively. However, these small increases in the risk of developing these IBDs were not statistically significant unlike the increase in the risk of developing meningococcal disease. That is, they might have occurred by chance. For bacterial carriage, summary ORs for SHS exposure were 1.68 for N. meningitidis, 1.66 for S. pneumonia (both these ORs were statistically significant), and 0.96 for Hib (a nonsignificant decrease in risk).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that SHS exposure is significantly associated with invasive meningococcal disease among children. However, the evidence that SHS exposure is associated with invasive pneumococcal and Hib disease is only suggestive. These findings also indicate that exposure to SHS is associated with an increased carriage of N. meningitidis and S. pneumoniae. The accuracy and generalizability of these findings is limited by the small number of studies identified, by the lack of studies from developing countries where SHS exposure is increasing and the burden of IBD is high, and by large variations between the studies in how SHS exposure was measured and IBD diagnosed. Nevertheless, they suggest that, by reducing children's exposure to SHS (by, for example, persuading parents not to smoke at home), the illness and death caused by IBDs among children could be greatly reduced. Such a reduction would be particularly welcome in developing countries where vaccination against IBDs is low.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000374.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on secondhand smoke, on children and secondhand smoke exposure, on meningitis, and on Hib infection
The US Environmental Protection Agency also provides information on the health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke (in English and Spanish) and a leaflet (also in English and Spanish) entitled Secondhand Tobacco Smoke and the Health of Your Family
The US Office of the Surgeon General provides information on the health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke
The World Health Organization provides a range of information on the global tobacco epidemic
The World Health Organization has information on meningococcal disease (in English only) and on Hib (in several languages)
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases provides a fact sheet on pneumococcal disease
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000374
PMCID: PMC2998445  PMID: 21151890
5.  Public Place Smoke-Free Regulations, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Related Beliefs, Awareness, Attitudes, and Practices among Chinese Urban Residents 
Objective: To evaluate the association between smoke-free regulations in public places and secondhand smoke exposure and related beliefs, awareness, attitudes, and behavior among urban residents in China. Methods: We selected one city (Hangzhou) as the intervention city and another (Jiaxing) as the comparison. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection, and implemented at two time points across a 20-month interval. Both unadjusted and adjusted logistic methods were considered in analyses. Multiple regression procedures were performed in examining variation between final and baseline measures. Results: Smoke-free regulations in the intervention city were associated with a significant decline in personal secondhand smoke exposure in government buildings, buses or taxis, and restaurants, but there was no change in such exposure in healthcare facilities and schools. In terms of personal smoking beliefs, awareness, attitudes, and practices, the only significant change was in giving quitting advice to proximal family members. Conclusions: There was a statistically significant association between implementation of smoke-free regulations in a city and inhibition of secondhand tobacco smoking exposure in public places. However, any such impact was limited. Effective tobacco control in China will require comprehensive laws implemented fully and supported by penalties and a combination of strong public health education.
doi:10.3390/ijerph10062370
PMCID: PMC3717741  PMID: 23749054
tobacco control; smoke-free regulations; secondhand smoke
6.  Demographic and Geographic Differences in Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Missouri Workplaces, 2007-2008 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2011;8(6):A135.
Introduction
African Americans, Hispanics, service and blue-collar workers, and residents of rural areas are among those facing higher rates of workplace secondhand smoke exposure in states without smokefree workplace laws. Consequently, these groups also experience more negative health effects resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. The objective of this study was to examine disparities in workplace secondhand smoke exposure in a state without a comprehensive statewide smokefree workplace law and to use this information in considering a statewide law.
Methods
We developed a logistic multilevel model by using data from a 2007-2008 county-level study to account for individual and county-level differences in workplace secondhand smoke exposure. We included sex, age, race, annual income, education level, smoking status, and rural or urban residence as predictors of workplace secondhand smoke exposure.
Results
Factors significantly associated with increased exposure to workplace secondhand smoke were male sex, lower education levels, lower income, living in a small rural or isolated area, and current smoking. For example, although the overall rate of workplace exposure in Missouri is 11.5%, our model predicts that among young white men with low incomes and limited education living in small rural areas, 40% of nonsmokers and 56% of smokers may be exposed to secondhand smoke at work.
Conclusion
Significant disparities exist in workplace secondhand smoke exposure across Missouri. A statewide smokefree workplace law would protect all citizens from workplace secondhand smoke exposure.
PMCID: PMC3221576  PMID: 22005628
7.  Potential Unintended Consequences of Smoke-Free Policies in Public Places on Pregnant Women in China 
American journal of preventive medicine  2009;37(2 0):S159-S164.
Background
Smoke-free policies in public places have become more common in China. Little is known, however, about the potential unintended consequences of such policies on pregnant women.
Methods
The study was conducted in 2006 in Chengdu, China. Nonsmoking pregnant women (N = 55) whose husband were smokers participated in a study of their knowledge about secondhand smoke and smoke-free policies, their exposure to secondhand smoke, and their husbands’ smoking status at home. This study presents descriptive statistics, analyses based on family income and pregnant women’s education level, and the findings of focus group discussions that examined the potential unintended consequences of the smoke-free policies on pregnant women.
Results
Exposure to secondhand smoke at home was reported by 69.1% of the pregnant women. Both family income and the education level of the pregnant women had a significant (p < 0.05) association with exposure to secondhand smoke. The four main potential unintended consequences of the smoke-free policies were: (1) increased exposure of pregnant women to secondhand smoke at home; (2) reduced work efficiency; (3) adverse effect on family harmony; and (4) poor air quality at home.
Conclusions
Education is needed to increase knowledge of secondhand smoke among smokers and nonsmokers alike. When the smoking location is shifted from public places and workplaces to home, women, and in particular pregnant women, become the victims. Policymakers should recognize such potential unintended consequences and take necessary measures to increase awareness about the harms of secondhand smoke.
doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2009.05.014
PMCID: PMC3685472  PMID: 19591756
8.  Tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, and cessation counseling among medical students: cross-country data from the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS), 2005-2008 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:72.
Background
GHPSS is a school-based survey that collects self-administered data from students in regular classroom settings. GHPSS produces representative data at the national or city level in each country. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, and cessation counseling among medical students using the GHPSS data.
Methods
The Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS) was conducted among 3rd year medical students in 47 countries and the Gaza Strip/West Bank from 2005-2008 to determine the prevalence of tobacco use and amount of formal training in cessation counseling.
Results
In 26 of the 48 sites, over 20% of the students currently smoked cigarettes, with males having higher rates than females in 37 sites. Over 70% of students reported having been exposed to secondhand smoke in public places in 29 of 48 sites. The majority of students recognized that they are role models in society (over 80% in 42 of 48 sites), believed they should receive training on counseling patients to quit using tobacco (over 80% in 41 of 48 sites), but few reported receiving formal training (less than 40% in 46 of 48 sites).
Conclusion
Tobacco control efforts must discourage tobacco use among health professionals, promote smoke free workplaces, and implement programs that train medical students in effective cessation-counseling techniques.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-72
PMCID: PMC3042391  PMID: 21284864
9.  Health Literacy Practices and Educational Competencies for Health Professionals: A Consensus Study 
Journal of Health Communication  2013;18(Suppl 1):82-102.
Health care professionals often lack adequate knowledge about health literacy and the skills needed to address low health literacy among patients and their caregivers. Many promising practices for mitigating the effects of low health literacy are not used consistently. Improving health literacy training for health care professionals has received increasing emphasis in recent years. The development and evaluation of curricula for health professionals has been limited by the lack of agreed-upon educational competencies in this area. This study aimed to identify a set of health literacy educational competencies and target behaviors, or practices, relevant to the training of all health care professionals. The authors conducted a thorough literature review to identify a comprehensive list of potential health literacy competencies and practices, which they categorized into 1 or more educational domains (i.e., knowledge, skills, attitudes) or a practice domain. The authors stated each item in operationalized language following Bloom's Taxonomy. The authors then used a modified Delphi method to identify consensus among a group of 23 health professions education experts representing 11 fields in the health professions. Participants rated their level of agreement as to whether a competency or practice was both appropriate and important for all health professions students. A predetermined threshold of 70% agreement was used to define consensus. After 4 rounds of ratings and modifications, consensus agreement was reached on 62 out of 64 potential educational competencies (24 knowledge items, 27 skill items, and 11 attitude items), and 32 out of 33 potential practices. This study is the first known attempt to develop consensus on a list of health literacy practices and to translate recommended health literacy practices into an agreed-upon set of measurable educational competencies for health professionals. Further work is needed to prioritize the competencies and practices in terms of relative importance.
doi:10.1080/10810730.2013.829538
PMCID: PMC3814998  PMID: 24093348
10.  Hispanic physicians' tobacco intervention practices: a cross-sectional survey study 
BMC Public Health  2005;5:120.
Background
U.S. Hispanic physicians constitute a considerable professional collective, and they may be most suited to attend to the health education needs of the growing U.S. Hispanic population. These educational needs include tobacco use prevention and smoking cessation. However, there is a lack of information on Hispanic physicians' tobacco intervention practices, their level of awareness and use of cessation protocols, and the type of programs that would best address their tobacco training needs. The purpose of this study was to assess the tobacco intervention practices and training needs of Hispanic physicians.
Methods
Data was collected through a validated survey instrument among a cross-sectional sample of self-reported Hispanic physicians. Data analyses included frequencies, descriptive statistics, and factorial analyses of variance.
Results
The response rate was 55.5%. The majority of respondents (73.3%) were middle-age males. Less than half of respondents routinely performed the most basic intervention: asking patients about smoking status (44.4%) and advising smoking patients to quit (42.2%). Twenty-five percent assisted smoking patients by talking to them about the health risks of smoking, providing education materials or referring them to cessation programs. Only 4.4% routinely arranged follow-up visits or phone calls for smoking patients. The majority of respondents (64.4%) indicated that they prescribe cessation treatments to less than 20% of smoking patients. A few (4.4%) routinely used behavioral change techniques or programs. A minority (15.6%) indicated that they routinely ask their patients about exposure to tobacco smoke, and 6.7% assisted patients exposed to secondhand smoke in understanding the health risks associated with environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The most frequently encountered barriers preventing respondents from intervening with patients who smoke included: time, lack of training, lack of receptivity by patients, and lack of reimbursement by third party payers. There was no significant main effect of type of physician, nor was there an interaction effect (gender by type of physician), on tobacco-related practices.
Conclusion
The results indicate that Hispanic physicians, similarly to U.S. physicians in general, do not meet the level of intervention recommended by health care agencies. The results presented will assist in the development of tobacco training initiatives for Hispanic physicians.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-5-120
PMCID: PMC1308823  PMID: 16287500
11.  Secondhand Tobacco Smoke: An Occupational Hazard for Smoking and Non-Smoking Bar and Nightclub Employees 
Tobacco control  2012;22(5):308-314.
Background
In the absence of comprehensive smoking bans in public places, bars and nightclubs have the highest concentrations of secondhand tobacco smoke, posing a serious health risk for workers in these venues.
Objective
To assess exposure of bar and nightclub employees to secondhand smoke, including non-smoking and smoking employees.
Methods
Between 2007 and 2009, we recruited approximately 10 venues per city and up to 5 employees per venue in 24 cities in the Americas, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Air nicotine concentrations were measured for 7 days in 238 venues. To evaluate personal exposure to secondhand smoke, hair nicotine concentrations were also measured for 625 non-smoking and 311 smoking employees (N=936).
Results
Median (interquartile range [IQR]) air nicotine concentrations were 3.5 (1.5, 8.5) µg/m3 and 0.2 (0.1, 0.7) µg/m3 in smoking and smoke-free venues, respectively. Median (IQR) hair nicotine concentrations were 6.0 (1.6, 16.0) ng/mg and 1.7 (0.5, 5.5) ng/mg in smoking and non-smoking employees, respectively. After adjustment for age, sex, education, living with a smoker, hair treatment and region, a 2-fold increase in air nicotine concentrations was associated with a 30% (95% confidence interval 23%, 38%) increase in hair nicotine concentrations in non-smoking employees and with a 10% (2%, 19%) increase in smoking employees.
Conclusions
Occupational exposure to secondhand smoke, assessed by air nicotine, resulted in elevated concentrations of hair nicotine among non-smoking and smoking bar and nightclub employees. The high levels of airborne nicotine found in bars and nightclubs and the contribution of this exposure to employee hair nicotine concentrations support the need for legislation measures that ensure complete protection from secondhand smoke in these venues.
doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050203
PMCID: PMC3701027  PMID: 22273689
nicotine; tobacco smoke pollution; workplace
12.  The Effect of Tobacco Control Measures during a Period of Rising Cardiovascular Disease Risk in India: A Mathematical Model of Myocardial Infarction and Stroke 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001480.
In this paper from Basu and colleagues, a simulation of tobacco control and pharmacological interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease mortality in India predicted that Smokefree laws and increased tobacco taxation are likely to be the most effective measures to avert future cardiovascular deaths in India.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
We simulated tobacco control and pharmacological strategies for preventing cardiovascular deaths in India, the country that is expected to experience more cardiovascular deaths than any other over the next decade.
Methods and Findings
A microsimulation model was developed to quantify the differential effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on myocardial infarction and stroke deaths stratified by age, gender, and urban/rural status for 2013 to 2022. The model incorporated population-representative data from India on multiple risk factors that affect myocardial infarction and stroke mortality, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. We also included data from India on cigarette smoking, bidi smoking, chewing tobacco, and secondhand smoke. According to the model's results, smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation would likely be the most effective strategy among a menu of tobacco control strategies (including, as well, brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and an advertising ban) for reducing myocardial infarction and stroke deaths over the next decade, while cessation advice would be expected to be the least effective strategy at the population level. In combination, these tobacco control interventions could avert 25% of myocardial infarctions and strokes (95% CI: 17%–34%) if the effects of the interventions are additive. These effects are substantially larger than would be achieved through aspirin, antihypertensive, and statin therapy under most scenarios, because of limited treatment access and adherence; nevertheless, the impacts of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions appear to be markedly synergistic, averting up to one-third of deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke among 20- to 79-y-olds over the next 10 y. Pharmacological therapies could also be considerably more potent with further health system improvements.
Conclusions
Smoke-free laws and substantially increased tobacco taxation appear to be markedly potent population measures to avert future cardiovascular deaths in India. Despite the rise in co-morbid cardiovascular disease risk factors like hyperlipidemia and hypertension in low- and middle-income countries, tobacco control is likely to remain a highly effective strategy to reduce cardiovascular deaths.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are conditions that affect the heart and/or the circulation. In coronary heart disease, for example, narrowing of the heart's blood vessels by fatty deposits slows the blood supply to the heart and may eventually cause a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Stroke, by contrast, is a CVD in which the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. CVD has been a major cause of illness and death in high-income countries for many years, but the burden of CVD is now rapidly rising in low- and middle-income countries. Indeed, worldwide, three-quarters of all deaths from heart disease and stroke occur in low- and middle-income countries. Smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity all increase an individual's risk of developing CVD. Prevention strategies and treatments for CVD include lifestyle changes (for example, smoking cessation) and taking drugs that lower blood pressure (antihypertensive drugs) or blood cholesterol levels (statins) or thin the blood (aspirin).
Why Was This Study Done?
Because tobacco use is a key risk factor for CVD and for several other noncommunicable diseases, the World Health Organization has developed an international instrument for tobacco control called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Parties to the FCTC (currently 176 countries) agree to implement a set of core tobacco control provisions including legislation to ban tobacco advertising and to increase tobacco taxes. But will tobacco control measures reduce the burden of CVD effectively in low- and middle-income countries as other risk factors for CVD are becoming more common? In this mathematical modeling study, the researchers investigated this question by simulating the effects of tobacco control measures and pharmacological strategies for preventing CVD on CVD deaths in India. Notably, many of the core FCTC provisions remain poorly implemented or unenforced in India even though it became a party to the convention in 2005. Moreover, experts predict that, over the next decade, this middle-income country will contribute more than any other nation to the global increase in CVD deaths.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers developed a microsimulation model (a computer model that operates at the level of individuals) to quantify the likely effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in India between 2013 and 2022. They incorporated population-representative data from India on risk factors that affect myocardial infarction and stroke mortality and on tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke into their model. They then simulated the effects of five tobacco control measures—smoke-free legislation, tobacco taxation, provision of brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and advertising bans—and increased access to aspirin, antihypertensive drugs, and statins on deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke. Smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are likely to be the most effective strategies for reducing myocardial infarction and stroke deaths over the next decade, according to the model, and the effects of these strategies are likely to be substantially larger than those achieved by drug therapies under current health system conditions. If the effects of smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are additive, the model predicts that these two measures alone could avert about 9 million deaths, that is, a quarter of the expected deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in India over the next 10 years, and that a combination of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions could avert up to a third of these deaths.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the implementation of smoke-free laws and the introduction of increased tobacco taxes in India would yield substantial and rapid health benefits by averting future CVD deaths. The accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by the many assumptions included in the mathematical model and by the quality of the data fed into it. Importantly, however, these finding suggest that, despite the rise in other CVD risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, tobacco control is likely to be a highly effective strategy for the reduction of CVD deaths over the next decade in India and probably in other low- and middle-income countries. Policymakers in these countries should, therefore, work towards fuller and faster implementation of the core FCTC provisions to boost their efforts to reduce deaths from CVD.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001480.
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease; its website includes personal stories about heart attacks and stroke
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on heart disease and on stroke (in English and Spanish
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about cardiovascular disease and stroke
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on heart diseases, vascular diseases, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information (in several languages) about the dangers of tobacco, about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and about noncommunicable diseases; its Global Noncommunicable Disease Network (NCDnet) aims to help low- and middle- income countries reduce illness and death caused by CVD and other noncommunicable diseases
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking
Smokefree.gov, supported by the US National Cancer Institute and other US agencies, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001480
PMCID: PMC3706364  PMID: 23874160
13.  Using Indoor Air Quality Monitoring in 6 Counties to Change Policy in North Carolina 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2009;6(3):A88.
Introduction
Indoor air quality monitoring has become a valuable tool for states wanting to assess levels of particulate matter before and after smoke-free policies are implemented. However, many states face barriers in passing comprehensive smoke-free legislation, making such study comparisons unlikely. We used indoor air monitoring data to educate decision makers about the value of comprehensive smoke-free laws in a state with strong historical ties to tobacco.
Methods
We trained teams in 6 counties in North Carolina to monitor air quality in hospitality venues with 1 of 3 possible smoking policy designations: 1) smoke-free, 2) separate smoking and nonsmoking sections (mixed), or 3) smoking allowed in all areas. Teams monitored 152 venues for respirable suspended particles that were less than 2.5 μm in diameter and collected information on venue characteristics. The data were combined and analyzed by venue policy and by county. Our findings were presented to key decision makers, and we then collected information on media publicity about these analyses.
Results
Overall, smoke-free venues had the lowest particulate matter levels (15 µg/m3), well below established Environmental Protection Agency standards. Venues with mixed policies and venues that permitted smoking in all areas had particulate matter levels that are considered unhealthy by Environmental Protection Agency standards. The media coverage of our findings included newspaper, radio, and television reports. Findings were also discussed with local health directors, state legislators, and public health advocates.
Conclusion
Study data have been used to quantify particulate matter levels, raise awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke, build support for evidence-based policies, and promote smoke-free policies among policy makers. The next task is to turn this effort into meaningful policy change that will protect everyone from the harms of secondhand smoke.
PMCID: PMC2722394  PMID: 19527589
14.  Racial, Ethnic, and Language Disparities in Children's Exposure to Secondhand Smoke 
Race and ethnicity affect children's risk of secondhand smoke exposure. However, little is known about how race and language preference impact parents' self-reported smoking and stopping smoking rates. We analyzed data for 16,523 children aged 0–11 years from a pediatric computer decision support system (Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation [CHICA]). CHICA asks families in the waiting room about household smokers. We examined associations between race, insurance, language preference, and household smoking and reported stopping smoking rates using logistic regression. Almost a quarter (23%) of the children's families reported a smoker at home. Hispanic children are least likely (odds ratio [OR]: 0.17, confidence interval [CI]: 0.12–0.24) to have secondhand smoke exposure when compared to African American and white children, as were those with private insurance (OR: 0.52, CI: 0.43–0.64) or no insurance (OR: 0.79, CI: 0.71–0.88) compared to publicly insured. Children from English speaking families were more likely (OR: 1.55, CI: 1.24–1.95) to have secondhand smoke exposure compared to Spanish speaking families. Among smoking families, 30% reported stopping smoking subsequently. Stopping rates were higher in Hispanic (OR: 3.25, CI: 2.06–5.13) and African American (OR: 1.39, CI: 1.01–1.91) families compared to white children's families. Uninsured families were less likely than publicly insured families to report stopping smoking (OR: 0.76, CI: 0.63–0.92). English speaking families were less likely (OR: 0.56, CI: 0.41–0.75) to report stopping smoking compared to Spanish speaking even in a subgroup analyses of Hispanic families (OR: 0.55, CI: 0.39–0.76). In our safety net practices serving children predominantly on public insurance, Spanish speaking families reported the lowest risk of secondhand smoke exposure in children and the highest rate of stopping smoking in the household. Hispanic families may have increasing secondhand exposure and decreasing rates of stopping smoking as they acculturate.
doi:10.1089/ped.2013.0257
PMCID: PMC3777551  PMID: 24066263
15.  Maternal educational level, parental preventive behavior, risk behavior, social support and medical care consumption in 8-month-old children in Malmö, Sweden 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:891.
Background
The social environment in which children grow up is closely associated with their health. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between maternal educational level, parental preventive behavior, parental risk behavior, social support, and use of medical care in small children in Malmö, Sweden. We also wanted to investigate whether potential differences in child medical care consumption could be explained by differences in parental behavior and social support.
Methods
This study was population-based and cross-sectional. The study population was 8 month-old children in Malmö, visiting the Child Health Care centers during 2003-2007 for their 8-months check-up, and whose parents answered a self-administered questionnaire (n = 9,289 children).
Results
Exclusive breast feeding ≥4 months was more common among mothers with higher educational level. Smoking during pregnancy was five times more common among less-educated mothers. Presence of secondhand tobacco smoke during the first four weeks of life was also much more common among children with less-educated mothers. Less-educated mothers more often experienced low emotional support and low practical support than mothers with higher levels of education (>12 years of education). Increased exposure to unfavorable parental behavioral factors (maternal smoking during pregnancy, secondhand tobacco smoke and exclusive breastfeeding <4 months) was associated with increased odds of in-hospital care and having sought care from a doctor during the last 8 months. The odds were doubled when exposed to all three risk factors. Furthermore, children of less-educated mothers had increased odds of in-hospital care (OR = 1.34 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.66)) and having sought care from a doctor during the last 8 months (OR = 1.28 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.50)), which were reduced and turned statistically non-significant after adjustment for unfavorable parental behavioral factors.
Conclusion
Children of less-educated mothers were exposed to more health risks, fewer health-promoting factors, worse social support, and had higher medical care consumption than children with higher educated mothers. After adjustment for parental behavioral factors the excess odds of doctor's visits and in-hospital care among children with less-educated mothers were reduced. Improving children's health calls for policies targeting parents' health-related behaviors and social support.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-891
PMCID: PMC3280332  PMID: 22114765
Epidemiology; Medical care consumption; Children; Education; Health-related behaviors
16.  Factors Associated with Active Smoking, Quitting, and Secondhand Smoke Exposure among Pregnant Women in Greece 
Journal of Epidemiology  2010;20(5):355-362.
Background
Pregnant women are exposed to tobacco smoke through active smoking and contact with secondhand smoke (SHS), and these exposures have a significant impact on public health. We investigated the factors that mediate active smoking, successful quitting, and SHS exposure among pregnant women in Crete, Greece.
Methods
Using a cotinine-validated questionnaire, data were collected on active smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke from 1291 women who had successfully completed the first contact questionnaire of the prospective mother-child cohort (Rhea) in Crete during the 12th week of pregnancy.
Results
Active smoking at some time during pregnancy was reported by 36% of respondents, and 17% were current smokers at week 12 of gestation. Those less likely to quit smoking during pregnancy were those married to a smoker (OR, 1.76; P = 0.008), those who were multiparous (1.72; P = 0.011), and those with young husbands. Of the 832 (64%) nonsmokers, almost all (94%, n = 780) were exposed to SHS, with the majority exposed at home (72%) or in a public place (64%). Less educated women and younger women were exposed more often than their better educated and older peers (P < 0.001). Adjusting for potential confounders, parental level of education, age, and ethnicity were the main mediators of exposure to SHS during pregnancy.
Conclusions
Active smoking and exposure to SHS are very prevalent among pregnant women in Greece. The above findings indicate the need for support of population-based educational interventions aimed at smoking cessation in both parents, as well as of the importance of establishing smoke-free environments in both private and public places.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20090156
PMCID: PMC3900829  PMID: 20595782
smoking; cessation; pregnancy; fetal health; passive smoking; SHS
17.  eHealth Literacy Among College Students: A Systematic Review With Implications for eHealth Education 
Background
eHealth literacy refers to the ability of individuals to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic resources and apply such knowledge to addressing or solving a health problem. While the current generation of college students has access to a multitude of health information on the Internet, access alone does not ensure that students are skilled at conducting Internet searches for health information. Ensuring that college students have the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct advanced eHealth searches is an important responsibility particularly for the medical education community. It is unclear if college students, especially those in the medical and health professions, need customized eHealth literacy training for finding, interpreting, and evaluating health- and medical-related information available on the Internet.
Objective
The objective of our review was to summarize and critically evaluate the evidence from existing research on eHealth literacy levels among college students between the ages of 17 and 26 years attending various 4-year colleges and universities located around the world.
Methods
We conducted a systematic literature review on numerous scholarly databases using various combinations of relevant search terms and Boolean operators. The records were screened and assessed for inclusion in the review based on preestablished criteria. Findings from each study that met inclusion criteria were synthesized and summarized into emergent themes.
Results
In the final review we analyzed 6 peer-reviewed articles and 1 doctoral dissertation that satisfied the inclusion criteria. The number of participants in each reviewed study varied widely (from 34 to 5030). The representativeness of the results from smaller studies is questionable. All studies measured knowledge and/or behaviors related to college student ability to locate, use, and evaluate eHealth information. These studies indicated that many college students lack eHealth literacy skills, suggesting that there is significant room for improvement in college students’ ability to obtain and evaluate eHealth information.
Conclusion
Although college students are highly connected to, and feel comfortable with, using the Internet to find health information, their eHealth literacy skills are generally sub par. College students, especially in the health and medical professions, would be well served to receive more customized college-level instruction that improves general eHealth literacy.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1703
PMCID: PMC3278088  PMID: 22155629
eHealth literacy; college students; health occupations; professional preparation
18.  Smoke-Free Policies Among Asian-American Women: Comparisons by Education Status 
American journal of preventive medicine  2009;37(2 0):S144-S150.
Background
California has significantly decreased racial/ethnic and educational disparities in smoke-free home and indoor work policies. California's ethnic-specific surveys present an opportunity to disaggregate data and examine the impact of California's smoke-free social norm campaign for Asian-American women.
Methods
The California Tobacco Use Surveys for Chinese Americans and Korean Americans were conducted in 2003 and analyzed in 2008 to compare women with lower (≤ high school graduate) or higher education status for smoke-free policy adoption and enforcement.
Results
Lower-educated and higher-educated women had similar proportions of smoke-free policies at home (58%) or indoor work (90%). However, lower-educated women were more likely than higher-educated women to report anyone ever smoking at home (OR=1.62, 95% CI=1.06, 2.48, p=0.03) and exposure during the past 2 weeks at an indoor workplace (OR=2.43, 95% CI= 1.30, 4.55, p=0.005), even after controlling for ethnicity, smoke-free policy, knowledge about the health consequences of secondhand smoke exposure, and acculturation. There was no interaction between education and knowledge about secondhand smoke health harms.
Conclusions
The intended consequences of California's tobacco-control efforts have resulted in similar rates of smoke-free policies at home and in indoor work environments among Asian-American women across educational levels. However, an unintended consequence of this success is a disparity in enforcement by educational status, with lower-educated Asian-American women reporting greater smoke exposure despite similar rates of knowledge about the health consequences of secondhand smoke exposure. Besides establishing policies, lower-educated Asian-American women may need to be empowered to assert and enforce their right to smoke-free environments.
doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2009.05.001
PMCID: PMC3992924  PMID: 19591754
19.  Tobacco Use, Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, and Training on Cessation Counseling Among Nursing Students: Cross-Country Data from the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS), 2005–2009 
The Nursing Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS) has been conducted in schools in 39 countries and the Gaza Strip/West Bank (identified as “sites” for the remainder of this paper). In half the sites, over 20% of the students currently smoked cigarettes, with males having higher rates than females in 22 sites. Over 60% of students reported having been exposed to secondhand smoke in public places in 23 of 39 sites. The majority of students recognized that they are role models in society, believed they should receive training on counseling patients to quit using tobacco, but few reported receiving any formal training. Tobacco control efforts must discourage tobacco use among health professionals, promote smoke free workplaces, and implement programs that train health professionals in effective cessation-counseling techniques.
doi:10.3390/ijerph6102534
PMCID: PMC2790091  PMID: 20054453
tobacco use; health professionals; nursing students; counseling training
20.  Attitudes, norms and controls influencing lifestyle risk factor management in general practice 
BMC Family Practice  2009;10:59.
Background
With increasing rates of chronic disease associated with lifestyle behavioural risk factors, there is urgent need for intervention strategies in primary health care. Currently there is a gap in the knowledge of factors that influence the delivery of preventive strategies by General Practitioners (GPs) around interventions for smoking, nutrition, alcohol consumption and physical activity (SNAP). This qualitative study explores the delivery of lifestyle behavioural risk factor screening and management by GPs within a 45–49 year old health check consultation. The aims of this research are to identify the influences affecting GPs' choosing to screen and choosing to manage SNAP lifestyle risk factors, as well as identify influences on screening and management when multiple SNAP factors exist.
Methods
A total of 29 audio-taped interviews were conducted with 15 GPs and one practice nurse over two stages. Transcripts from the interviews were thematically analysed, and a model of influencing factors on preventive care behaviour was developed using the Theory of Planned Behaviour as a structural framework.
Results
GPs felt that assessing smoking status was straightforward, however some found assessing alcohol intake only possible during a formal health check. Diet and physical activity were often inferred from appearance, only being assessed if the patient was overweight. The frequency and thoroughness of assessment were influenced by the GPs' personal interests and perceived congruence with their role, the level of risk to the patient, the capacity of the practice and availability of time. All GPs considered advising and educating patients part of their professional responsibility. However their attempts to motivate patients were influenced by perceptions of their own effectiveness, with smoking causing the most frustration. Active follow-up and referral of patients appeared to depend on the GPs' orientation to preventive care, the patient's motivation, and cost and accessibility of services to patients.
Conclusion
General practitioner attitudes, normative influences from both patients and the profession, and perceived external control factors (time, cost, availability and practice capacity) all influence management of behavioural risk factors. Provider education, community awareness raising, support and capacity building may improve the uptake of lifestyle modification interventions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-10-59
PMCID: PMC2746183  PMID: 19706198
21.  The junior fellows program: Motivating urban youth toward careers in health, science, and medicine 
Lack of diversity in the health, science, and medical professions has been documented as a contributor to health disparities in the United States, and early intervention is essential for the recruitment of underrepresented students into the health professions. The Junior Fellows Program, a partnership between the New York Academy of Medicine, New York City public schools, and regional academic medical centers, is designed to stimulate students' interest in health, science, medicine, and research. From seminars designed to advance Junior Fellows' skills in identifying concrete strategies for improving health and preventing illness, to understanding the research process and the nature of scientific inquiry, the program engages Junior Fellows in project-based learning, works to enhance their critical thinking skills, and helps them to foster positive interactions with practicing physicians and health professionals. Surveys of program graduates indicate the program has been influential in creating a high level of motivation to pursue carrers related to health, science, and medicine. The program continues to work on enhancing educational opportunities for urban public school students and promoting career awareness for the health professions, with a special emphasis on improving the proportion of minorities and women who enter these fields.
doi:10.1093/jurban/jth135
PMCID: PMC3455952  PMID: 15273273
Health professions; Library research; Minorities; Science; Partnerships; Urban youth
22.  Health Information Literacy and Competencies of Information Age Students: Results From the Interactive Online Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA) 
Background
In an era of easy access to information, university students who will soon enter health professions need to develop their information competencies. The Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA) is based on the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, and it measures proficiency in obtaining health information, evaluating the quality of health information, and understanding plagiarism.
Objective
This study aimed to measure the proficiency of college-age health information consumers in finding and evaluating electronic health information; to assess their ability to discriminate between peer-reviewed scholarly resources and opinion pieces or sales pitches; and to examine the extent to which they are aware of their level of health information competency.
Methods
An interactive 56-item online assessment, the Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA), was used to measure the health information competencies of university students. We invited 400 students to take part in the study, and 308 participated, giving a response rate of 77%. The RRSA included multiple-choice questions and problem-based exercises. Declarative and procedural knowledge were assessed in three domains: finding health information, evaluating health information, and understanding plagiarism. Actual performance was contrasted with self-reported skill level. Upon answering all questions, students received a results page that summarized their numerical results and displayed individually tailored feedback composed by an experienced librarian.
Results
Even though most students (89%) understood that a one-keyword search is likely to return too many documents, few students were able to narrow a search by using multiple search categories simultaneously or by employing Boolean operators. In addition, nearly half of the respondents had trouble discriminating between primary and secondary sources of information as well as between references to journal articles and other published documents. When presented with questionable websites on nonexistent nutritional supplements, only 50% of respondents were able to correctly identify the website with the most trustworthy features. Less than a quarter of study participants reached the correct conclusion that none of the websites made a good case for taking the nutritional supplements. Up to 45% of students were unsure if they needed to provide references for ideas expressed in paraphrased sentences or sentences whose structure they modified. Most respondents (84%) believed that their research skills were good, very good, or excellent. Students’ self-perceptions of skill tended to increase with increasing level of education. Self-reported skills were weakly correlated with actual skill level, operationalized as the overall RRSA score (Cronbach alpha = .78 for 56 RRSA items).
Conclusions
While the majority of students think that their research skills are good or excellent, many of them are unable to conduct advanced information searches, judge the trustworthiness of health-related websites and articles, and differentiate between various information sources. Students’ self-reports may not be an accurate predictor of their actual health information competencies.
doi:10.2196/jmir.8.2.e6
PMCID: PMC1550696  PMID: 16867969
Health information; electronic health information; evaluation of electronic resources; electronics; telecommunications; consumer health information; patient education; educational status; computer network
23.  Effects of Secondhand Smoke Exposure on the Health and Development of African American Premature Infants 
Objective. To explore the effects of secondhand smoke exposure on growth, health-related illness, and child development in rural African American premature infants through 24 months corrected age. Method. 171 premature infants (72 boys, 99 girls) of African American mothers with a mean birthweight of 1114 grams. Mothers reported on household smoking and infant health at 2, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months corrected age. Infant growth was measured at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months, and developmental assessments were conducted at 12 and 24 months. Results. Thirty percent of infants were exposed to secondhand smoke within their first 2 years of life. Secondhand smoke exposure was associated with poorer growth of head circumference and the development of otitis media at 2 months corrected age. Height, weight, wheezing, and child development were not related to secondhand smoke exposure. Conclusion. Exposure to secondhand smoke may negatively impact health of rural African American premature infants. Interventions targeted at reducing exposure could potentially improve infant outcomes.
doi:10.1155/2011/165687
PMCID: PMC3263834  PMID: 22295181
24.  Burden of Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Related to Tobacco Smoking among Adults Aged ≥45 Years in Asia: A Pooled Analysis of 21 Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(4):e1001631.
Wei Zheng and colleagues quantify the burden of tobacco-smoking-related deaths for adults in Asia.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for many diseases. We sought to quantify the burden of tobacco-smoking-related deaths in Asia, in parts of which men's smoking prevalence is among the world's highest.
Methods and Findings
We performed pooled analyses of data from 1,049,929 participants in 21 cohorts in Asia to quantify the risks of total and cause-specific mortality associated with tobacco smoking using adjusted hazard ratios and their 95% confidence intervals. We then estimated smoking-related deaths among adults aged ≥45 y in 2004 in Bangladesh, India, mainland China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan—accounting for ∼71% of Asia's total population. An approximately 1.44-fold (95% CI = 1.37–1.51) and 1.48-fold (1.38–1.58) elevated risk of death from any cause was found in male and female ever-smokers, respectively. In 2004, active tobacco smoking accounted for approximately 15.8% (95% CI = 14.3%–17.2%) and 3.3% (2.6%–4.0%) of deaths, respectively, in men and women aged ≥45 y in the seven countries/regions combined, with a total number of estimated deaths of ∼1,575,500 (95% CI = 1,398,000–1,744,700). Among men, approximately 11.4%, 30.5%, and 19.8% of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases, respectively, were attributable to tobacco smoking. Corresponding proportions for East Asian women were 3.7%, 4.6%, and 1.7%, respectively. The strongest association with tobacco smoking was found for lung cancer: a 3- to 4-fold elevated risk, accounting for 60.5% and 16.7% of lung cancer deaths, respectively, in Asian men and East Asian women aged ≥45 y.
Conclusions
Tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially elevated risk of mortality, accounting for approximately 2 million deaths in adults aged ≥45 y throughout Asia in 2004. It is likely that smoking-related deaths in Asia will continue to rise over the next few decades if no effective smoking control programs are implemented.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, more than 5 million smokers die from tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (conditions that affect the heart and the circulation), respiratory disease (conditions that affect breathing), lung cancer, and several other types of cancer. All told, tobacco smoking kills up to half its users. The ongoing global “epidemic” of tobacco smoking and tobacco-related diseases initially affected people living in the US and other Western countries, where the prevalence of smoking (the proportion of the population that smokes) in men began to rise in the early 1900s, peaking in the 1960s. A similar epidemic occurred in women about 40 years later. Smoking-related deaths began to increase in the second half of the 20th century, and by the 1990s, tobacco smoking accounted for a third of all deaths and about half of cancer deaths among men in the US and other Western countries. More recently, increased awareness of the risks of smoking and the introduction of various tobacco control measures has led to a steady decline in tobacco use and in smoking-related diseases in many developed countries.
Why Was This Study Done?
Unfortunately, less well-developed tobacco control programs, inadequate public awareness of smoking risks, and tobacco company marketing have recently led to sharp increases in the prevalence of smoking in many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Asia. More than 50% of men in many Asian countries are now smokers, about twice the prevalence in many Western countries, and more women in some Asian countries are smoking than previously. More than half of the world's billion smokers now live in Asia. However, little is known about the burden of tobacco-related mortality (deaths) in this region. In this study, the researchers quantify the risk of total and cause-specific mortality associated with tobacco use among adults aged 45 years or older by undertaking a pooled statistical analysis of data collected from 21 Asian cohorts (groups) about their smoking history and health.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their study, the researchers used data from more than 1 million participants enrolled in studies undertaken in Bangladesh, India, mainland China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan (which together account for 71% of Asia's total population). Smoking prevalences among male and female participants were 65.1% and 7.1%, respectively. Compared with never-smokers, ever-smokers had a higher risk of death from any cause in pooled analyses of all the cohorts (adjusted hazard ratios [HRs] of 1.44 and 1.48 for men and women, respectively; an adjusted HR indicates how often an event occurs in one group compared to another group after adjustment for other characteristics that affect an individual's risk of the event). Compared with never smoking, ever smoking was associated with a higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, cancer (particularly lung cancer), and respiratory disease among Asian men and among East Asian women. Moreover, the researchers estimate that, in the countries included in this study, tobacco smoking accounted for 15.8% of all deaths among men and 3.3% of deaths among women in 2004—a total of about 1.5 million deaths, which scales up to 2 million deaths for the population of the whole of Asia. Notably, in 2004, tobacco smoking accounted for 60.5% of lung-cancer deaths among Asian men and 16.7% of lung-cancer deaths among East Asian women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide strong evidence that tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially raised risk of death among adults aged 45 years or older throughout Asia. The association between smoking and mortality risk in Asia reported here is weaker than that previously reported for Western countries, possibly because widespread tobacco smoking started several decades later in most Asian countries than in Europe and North America and the deleterious effects of smoking take some years to become evident. The researchers note that certain limitations of their analysis are likely to affect the accuracy of its findings. For example, because no data were available to estimate the impact of secondhand smoke, the estimate of deaths attributable to smoking is likely to be an underestimate. However, the finding that nearly 45% of the global deaths from active tobacco smoking occur in Asia highlights the urgent need to implement comprehensive tobacco control programs in Asia to reduce the burden of tobacco-related disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001631.
The World Health Organization provides information about the dangers of tobacco (in several languages) and about the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international instrument for tobacco control that came into force in February 2005 and requires parties to implement a set of core tobacco control provisions including legislation to ban tobacco advertising and to increase tobacco taxes; its 2013 report on the global tobacco epidemic is available
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information about all aspects of smoking and tobacco use
The UK National Health Services Choices website provides information about the health risks associated with smoking
MedlinePlus has links to further information about the dangers of smoking (in English and Spanish)
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking
Smokefree.gov, from the US National Cancer Institute, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001631
PMCID: PMC3995657  PMID: 24756146
25.  Risk factors of coronary heart disease among medical students in King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:411.
Background
Nowadays, Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) represents an escalating worldwide public health problem. Providing consistent data on the magnitude and risk factors of CVDs among young population will help in controlling the risks and avoiding their consequences.
Objective
The objective was to estimate the prevalence of risk factors of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) among medical students during their clinical clerkship (4th - 6th years).
Methods
A cross-sectional study was done during the educational year 2012–2013 at King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah. Ethical standards were followed and a multistage stratified random sample method was used for selection of 214 medical students. Data was collected through an interviewing questionnaire, measurements and laboratory investigations. Both descriptive and analytical statistics were done by SPSS version 21. CHD risk percent in thirty years was calculated using Framingham algorithm for each student, then the risk among all students was determined.
Results
The commonest risk factors of CHDs were daily intake of high fat diet (73.4%), physical inactivity (57.9%), overweight/or obesity (31.2%) and daily consumption of fast food (13.1%). Hyper-cholesterolemia (17.2%) and hypertension (9.3%) were also prevalent risk factors. Smoking prevalence was low (2.8%). Males had significantly higher mean scores for most of CHD risk factors compared to females (p < 0.05). Systolic Blood pressure was higher among males (119.47 ± 11.17) compared to females (112.26 ± 9.06). A highly statistical significant difference was present (Students’t test = 4.74, p < 0.001). Framingham Risk Score revealed that CHD risk percent in thirty-years among all students was 10.7%, 2.3% and 0.5% for mild, moderate and severe risk, respectively.
Conclusion
An alarmingly high prevalence of CHD risk factors was prevailed among medical students, especially among males. However, a low prevalence of smoking may indicate the success of “Smoke-free Campus” program. Screening risk factors of CHD among medical students and implementation of intervention programs are recommended. Programs to raise awareness about CHD risk factors, encourage young adult students to adopt a healthy dietary behavior and promote physical exercise should be initiated.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-411
PMCID: PMC4036426  PMID: 24775684
Risk factors; Coronary heart diseases; Young adults; Framingham risk score

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