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Project overview

Thesis title: Researching the extent of exposure of children to smoking in 'private' places

Masters Student: Marcus Gurtner

Supervisors: Associate Professor George Thomson, Dr Richard Jaine

Advisors: Dr James Stanley

Funding: This thesis will use data collected as part of the HRC funded Kids'Cam project on junk food advertising, and existing national survey data

More information: Email


Aim: To examine and compare methods of researching the extent of exposure of children to smoking in 'private' places.

Background: The immediate and long-term adverse effects of second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure in children are well documented, and extensive research has demonstrated that SHS exposure increases the risk of asthma, respiratory illness, reduced lung function, and ear complications (1). The hazard of SHS exposure is of particular concern inside cars, regardless of whether the windows are open or closed, due to the confined space (2). This is also the case with regard to SHS exposure in the home, the major setting where children are exposed.


Data: Approximately 250,000 photos obtained as part of the Kids'Cam project, from a sample of 35 children living in households with smokers, plus raw data from the 2014 New Zealand Youth Tobacco Monitor (NZYTM) and 2014 Health & Lifestyles Survey (HLS) surveys.

Analysis: The photos will be manually examined. Any evidence of exposure to smoking normalisation and/or SHS will be recorded. The survey data will be analysed for information to compare with the photo data. A narrative literature review of ways to measure child exposure to smoking within 'private' places will also be performed.

Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington South 6242
New Zealand
Tel +64 4 385 5541 ext 6040
Fax +64 4 389 5319

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