Practice Resources

The mission of the Society of Pediatric Nurses is to advance the specialty of pediatric nursing through excellence in education, research and practice. The following resources are designed to assist in establishing best practices and standards of care within the pediatric patient population.

Journal of Pediatric Nursing

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Tobacco Exposure in Children, Adolescents and Families
Topic: Position Statements
Owner: Kathryn Whitmer
Date: 2017-02-22


Tobacco exposures, that include personal tobacco use, secondhand smoke or third hand smoke exposures, are highly prevalent, and there is clear evidence linking human health consequences with tobacco exposures.  The U.S. Surgeon General reported scientific evidence demonstrating that there are no safe levels of secondhand smoke exposure, and that tobacco smoke as a known human carcinogen is associated with disease and death in nonsmokers (U.S. Department  of Health and Human Services, 2006;  2010a).  Tobacco smoke exposure is linked to adverse health outcomes, particularly cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.  Physiological mechanisms underlying smoking-related diseases include DNA damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006; 2010a).  The primary addictive component of tobacco is nicotine.  Repeated nicotine exposures become associated with daily environmental cues, producing long term changes in dopaminergic signals in the reward/reinforcement brain centers and eventually resulting in addiction (Das, Cherbuin, Anstey, Sachdev, & Easteal, 2012; Siqueira & American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Use and Prevention, 2017). 

Last Update:2/2017

Reviewed by:

Anne Turner-Henson, PhD, RN, FAAN
SPN Position Statement Task Force 

Approved By:

SPN Board of Directors: 2/16/2017



Download File   SPN Position Statement Tobacco Exposure FINAL 2017.pdf