Teens exposed to second-hand smoke at home are at increased risk of test failure in school, suggests a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
"Our retrospective study suggests that in adolescents, second-hand smoke exposure could interfere with academic test performance," said lead author Bradley Collins, assistant professor of public health and director of the Health Behaviour Research Clinic at Temple University.
Taking other known risk factors into account - for example, socioeconomic status, gender, prenatal exposure to smoking and active smoking during adolescence- the researchers found that exposure to second-hand smoke at home decreased the odds of passing standardized achievement tests by 30 percent in 16- and 18-year-olds.
Surprisingly, the study found that when examining the effects of prenatal tobacco exposure and second-hand smoke together, prenatal exposure did not influence test performance.
These study results bolster growing evidence of academic-related second-hand smoke consequences beyond the known health consequences, and should further encourage efforts to reduce this environmental threat, the researchers stated.