Smoking in the Household

Exposure to environmental smoke—from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes—can be a serious health hazard for children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with higher rates of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), more frequent and severe asthma, and acute respiratory infections in young children.1 Parents were asked whether anyone in the household used cigarettes, cigars, or pipe tobacco. Overall, 24.1 percent of children were reported to live in households where someone smokes, and 4.9 percent were exposed to secondhand smoke inside their homes (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

Over 26 percent of non-Hispanic White children and non-Hispanic children of other races lived in households with a smoker, as did 25.0 percent of non-Hispanic Black children. Only 18.3 percent of Hispanic children lived in households with a smoker.

Rates of household smoking decline as income increases. Of children with household incomes below the poverty level, 33.8 percent lived in a household with a smoker, as did 31.3 percent of children with household incomes between 100 and 199 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL). Of children with household incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL, 22.5 percent lived with a smoker, and of children with household incomes of 400 percent or more of FPL, only 12.4 percent had a smoker in the household.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking and Tobacco Use, Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet. September 2006.