Don't Make Your Kids Smoke

Smoking near children linked to bladder problems

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The reasons to quit smoking keep adding up. If you're a parent who smokes, the secondhand smoke your children inhale may contribute to bladder problems.

A recent unpublished study presented at a conference has found a link between secondhand smoke and moderate to severe irritation in children's bladders.

Researchers found “that exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke increases the risk of severe urinary disorders in children, that may otherwise be reduced or even prevented,”

"Quit smoking for your kids' health."

Joseph Barone, MD, associate professor of surgery at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and surgeon-in-chief of Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, led the study.

Dr. Barone and colleagues looked at a group of 45 children from ages 4 to 17 in New Jersey who were seeing a pediatric urologist for bladder issues.

The issues included suddenly needing to urinate unexpectedly or frequently and being unable to hold their urine.

The younger children's parents filled out surveys about their kids' exposure to secondhand smoke, and the older kids filled out their own surveys. A total of 28 percent of the children had been exposed to environmental tobacco smoke - 13 percent higher than New Jersey's state average.

Among the half of children who had moderate to severe symptoms, 50 percent had been exposed to cigarette smoke in a car, and 23 percent had mothers who smoked. None of the children with mild symptoms had mothers who smoked or had been exposed to cigarette smoke in a car.

Barone's team's research data revealed that symptoms worsened as the amount of cigarette smoke the child was exposed to increased, especially among children aged 4 to 10.

Dr. Barone stated, “Our results emphasize the importance of smoking cessation for parents."

“Parents should make a concerted effort to reduce their child’s exposure to smoke in confined places, especially in the home and in cars," Dr. Barone added. "Quitting smoking is the healthiest option for children.”

The study was presented by Kelly Johnson, MD, chief resident of urology at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, during the American Urological Association Annual Meeting held May 19 through 23 in Atlanta.

Because the study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, its results should be regarded as preliminary and still require review by researchers in the field. No external funding was used for the study.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 15, 2012
Last Updated:
October 24, 2012