INTRODUCTION: It has been reported that most environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure of children occurs at home, and lower parental socioeconomic status (SES) increases the risk of this exposure. We estimated the independent and interactive effects of parental SES and residential area SES on ETS exposure of children at home.
METHODS: We evaluated whether ETS exposure was associated with parental SES by entering data from 7,059 school-aged children in Korea into fixed effects models. The empirical model, including the interaction variable of the level of deprivation of each residential area, was fitted with parental SES.
RESULTS: After adjustment for possible confounding variables, low paternal education (odds ratio [OR], 1.81; 95% CI, 1.30-2.54) and highly deprived areas (OR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.06-1.69) were significantly associated with the ETS exposure of children, especially among children whose fathers had <12 years of education and lived in the most deprived area (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.04-4.02).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the SES of residential areas may influence the ETS exposure of children directly, as well as interactively with parental SES, in Korea. Findings from this study will help inform policy decision makers that intervention to promote smoking cessation should consider not only the SES of individuals but also that of residential areas.