Quit Smoking: Secondhand Smoke Damages Childrens' Arteries

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We all know that smoking is dangerous and can lead to a number of health problems including cancer. Secondhand smoke can be even worse and can harm those who do not smoke themselves but are around smokers. A recent study shows that secondhand smoke can be even more dangerous than originally thought.

Seana Gall, a researcher in cardiovascular epidemiology who led the study at the University of Tasmania, "Exposure to passive smoke in childhood causes direct and irreversible damage to the structure of the arteries."

The study was conducted on 2,401 people in Finland 1,375 people in Australia. Researchers asked each person about their parents' smoking history. The study followed the participants from the time they were children into adulthood. Once the participants were grown, the scientists used ultrasound to measure the thickness of their artery walls.

The results showed that carotid IMT in adulthood was 0.015 millimeters thicker in those exposed to both parents smoking than in those whose parents did not smoke.

They also showed that children who grew up in homes where their parents smoked, were also much more likely to smoke themselves, become overweight as adults, and have heart problems.

The study shows that reducing a child's exposure to smoke is a top priority.

"Legislation can reduce passive smoke exposure, with restriction of smoking in public places reducing hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory disease," said the researchers, adding that banning smoking in cars with children in them would also have a significant positive effect.

Do you think smoking should be banned in cars with children and what others way can secondhand smoke be prevented?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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