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Many Hong Kong fathers smoke near children

HONG KONG, May 8 (UPI) -- A study of Hong Kong mothers finds mothers who don't smoke use evasive action to protect sick children from smoking fathers.

Most non-smoking mothers recognize the need to protect sick children from smoking husbands, but persuading their spouse to quit isn't always an option, according to researchers at the University of Hong Kong.

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Mothers of 1,483 children admitted to four major hospitals were surveyed and the researchers found that despite the children suffering from respiratory problems, the mothers reported that 86 percent of their husbands smoked at home.

The study, by the Department of Nursing Studies and the School of Public Health, found that although most of the mothers realized the importance of protecting their child's health, family tensions and the need to maintain marital harmony often got in the way.

"Although we found this initiative had some short-term benefits, many of the mothers found it difficult to persuade their husbands to quit smoking and the education group were more likely to take evasive action, such as moving the child out of the room," said Dr. Sophia Chan, head of the Department of Nursing Studies.

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The findings are published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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