Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation

Fondation canadienne d'allergie, d'asthme et d'immunologie

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Board of Directors




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Smoking in the Home by Parents of Asthmatic Children

Whereas passive smoking causes a decrease in pulmonary function in asthmatics under experimental conditions1, and

Whereas asthmatic children of mothers who smoke, compared with those of mothers who do not smoke, have more severe asthmatic symptoms, decreased spirometric test results, and increased bronchial irritability 2-4, and

Whereas the children's pulmonary function is progressively more severely affected as the number of cigarettes to which they are exposed to in their house increases2,5,

Be it resolved that the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommend to all physicians who care for asthmatic children that they inquire whether the parents smoke and, if they do, urge them not to smoke when at home or when in the car with the child.

Members: Andrew Murray, MD, FRCPC (Principal author), Professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC; Jerry Dolovich, MD, FRCPC, (Chairman), Professor, Department of Paediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.


  1. Dahms TE, Bolin JF, Slavin RG: Passive smoking: Effects on bronchial asthma. Chest, 1981:80-530.
  2. Murray AB, Morrison BJ: The effect of cigarette smoke from mothers on bronchial reactivity and severity of symptoms in asthmatic children. J Allergy Clin Immunol, April, 1986.
  3. Jarvis MJ, Russell MAH, Feyerbend C, et al: Passive exposure to tobacco smoke: Saliva cotinine concentrations in a representative population sample of non-smoking school children. Br Med J 1985: 291:927-929.
  4. Allergy Section of Canadian Paediatric Society. Review Article: Second-hand cigarette smoke worsens symptoms in asthmatic children. Canadian Med Assoc J 1986: 135:321-323.
  5. Murray AB, Morrison BJ: Is passive smoking the cause of the worsened asthma seen in children of mothers who smoke? J Allergy Clin Immunol Jan. 1987.

The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, First printing 1987, Second printing 1995