MATERIALS AND METHODS: PM2.5 was measured as a marker of SHS levels in a total of 61 restaurants, entertainment centres, internet cafes and pubs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
RESULTS: Under the current smoke-free laws smoking was prohibited in 42 of the 61 premises. Active smoking was observed in nearly one-third (n=12) of these. For premises where smoking was prohibited and no active smoking observed, the mean (standard deviation) indoor PM2.5 concentration was 33.4 (23.8) μg/m3 compared to 187.1 (135.1) μg/m3 in premises where smoking was observed The highest mean PM2.5 was observed in pubs [361.5 (199.3) μg/m3].
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence of high levels of SHS across a range of hospitality venues, including about one-third of those where smoking is prohibited, despite 8 years of smoke-free legislation. Compliance with the legislation appeared to be particularly poor in entertainment centres and internet cafes. Workers and non-smoking patrons continue to be exposed to high concentrations of SHS within the hospitality industry in Malaysia and there is an urgent need for increased enforcement of existing legislation and consideration of more comprehensive laws to protect health.
METHODS: At a regional meeting of the Asia Pacific Child and Family Health Alliance for Tobacco Control, members reviewed existing good practices of child-focused tobacco control approaches using health promotion strategies. These interventions were implemented nationally in Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
RESULTS: Three good practice national examples were identified that focused on creating supportive tobacco-free environments and upgrading cessation skills among paediatricians. These country examples highlight strategic areas to protect children and families from the harms of tobacco, as part of NCD prevention and control. Training paediatricians in brief cessation advice has enabled them to address tobacco-using parents. Fully enforcing smoke-free public areas has led to an increase in smoke-free homes. The Tobacco Free Generation is a tobacco control 'endgame' strategy that taps into a social movement to deglamorize tobacco use and empower youth born in and after year 2000 to reject tobacco and nicotine addiction.
CONCLUSION: Tobacco control is pivotal in the fight against NCDs; health promotion strategies to protect children and youth from tobacco have a critical role to play in NCD prevention and control. Frontline health workers, including primary care paediatricians, need to step up and actively advocate for full implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, including tobacco tax increases and smoke-free areas, while monitoring patients and their parents for tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, preventing adolescent smoking uptake, and offering cessation support. A life-course approach incorporating child-focused efforts to prevent initiation of smoking and second-hand smoke exposure with measures promoting cessation among parents will offer the greatest chance of overcoming future tobacco-related NCD burden.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 898 students from 21 schools across comprehensive- and partial-SFL states were recruited. SHS exposures and respiratory symptoms were assessed via questionnaire. Prenatal and postnatal SHS exposure information was obtained from parental-completed questionnaire.
RESULTS: The prevalence of respiratory symptoms was: 11.9% ever wheeze, 5.6% current wheeze, 22.3% exercise-induced wheeze, 12.4% nocturnal cough, and 13.1% self-reported asthma. SHS exposure was most frequently reported in restaurants. Hierarchical logistic regression indicates living in a comprehensive-SFL state was not associated with a lower risk of reporting asthma symptoms. SHS exposure in public transport was linked to increased risk for wheeze (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 16.6; 95%confidence interval (CI), 2.69-101.7) and current wheezing (AOR 24.6; 95%CI, 3.53-171.8).
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents continue to be exposed to SHS in a range of public venues in both comprehensive- and partial-SFL states. Respiratory symptoms are common among those reporting SHS exposure on public transportation. Non-compliance with SFL appears to be frequent in many venues across Malaysia and enforcement should be given priority in order to reduce exposure.