Sydney, June 17 : If you think that by going outside the house every time you want to have a cigarette you are keeping your kids safe from the harmful effects of second hand smoke, well then you need to think again.
A new Australian study has found that smoking outside the home doesn't really protect your offspring from passive smoking.
Researchers from Curtin University of Technology measured nicotine and respirable particles over 24 hours in the living rooms of 92 Perth households with children aged between four and nine years old.
They found that even if parents only smoked outside, the levels of respirable suspended particles, including nicotine, were significantly higher in their homes.
Lead researcher Dr Krassi Rumchev, says the findings are important because they indicate that smoking outdoors may not be enough to safeguard kids from the effects of environmental tobacco smoke, reports ABC Online.
"According to the study, smoking outdoors seems inadequate to protect children," she said.
"[The] results demonstrate clearly that if parents want a smoke-free environment for children, they need to stop smoking."
A reason for the levels of respirable particles in the homes, says Dr Rumchev may be that smokers disperse pollutants into the home when they return after taking a drag.
"When people come inside they're still breathing out smoke and it contaminates the air. It's enough to do harm," Rumchev says.
"Nicotine attaches to the hair and body, and pollutants are dispersed into the air off clothes, because small particles can attach to clothes."
The findings appear in the latest issue of Indoor Air.