JBS Vol 22. Num 1. 2020 - Paternal Tobacco Intake and Increased Risk of Adverse Health Effects Among Children in the Chars of Northern Bangladesh

M. Wasiqur Rahman Khan
Ashraf Ahmed
Sifat Islam Ishty
Mutasim Billah Mubde

The smoking habit of parents adversely affects the health of their children. These adverse health effects are significantly more extensive on children of a transient population residing on remote riverine islands (chars) of Bangladesh. This is due to low levels of literacy among the population, little to no regulations on tobacco advertisements in chars and a significant lack of awareness on the adverse effects of smoking. Utilizing a unique dataset, this paper looks into the extent of health effects such as stunting, underweight and wasting among the children due to their paternal smoking habits in these regions. Breath carbon monoxide content is used to measure paternal short-term tobacco intake to address recall and measurement bias concerns that arise from self-reported tobacco intake data. Using an ordered logistic regression, it is found that the children’s odds of being severely stunted, as opposed to their joint odds of being of normal growth and moderately stunted, is increased 1.15 times with each level increase in paternal carbon monoxide content. The odds are 1.075 times greater of being severely underweight. No significant relation was, however, observed for the case of wasting.

Riverine islands
tobacco intake
child weight
child health