Entries in Second Hand Smoke (6)


Do Second Hand Smoke Effects for Children Last Longer Than We Think?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Experts have told us about the harmful effects of second hand smoke. But just how long do those effects last? Research says it last a long time.

A new study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference says kids do not outgrow damage they suffer from secondhand smoke when getting older.

Researchers followed nearly four hundred people from childhood into adulthood and found that all participants still suffered from wheezing, coughing and chronic colds.
The authors of the study say that the symptoms make adults more susceptible to problems with lung function and other respiratory illnesses. They add that a child’s greatest risk to second hand smoking is from parents who smoke in the presence of their children.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CDC: One in Five Students Exposed to Secondhand Smoke in Cars

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Government health researchers say the number of middle and high school students exposed to secondhand smoke in cars is on the decline.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at surveys of public and private school students over a ten year period and found a gradual drop in the number of kids who said they rode in a car with a smoke -- from 40 percent in 2000 to 22 percent in 2009.

“What's still alarming,” said Brian King with the CDC, “is that in 2009, even among the non-smokers, about one in five students are still exposed to secondhand smoke in cars.”

Exposure in a confined space can increase a number of health risks associated with secondhand smoke.

“Those include everything from ear infections, more severe asthma, acute respiratory infections, delayed lung growth and also sudden infant death syndrome,” King said.

Health risks are increased because of the small space of a vehicle and, King said, cracking a window doesn't help. “There's still dangerous levels of secondhand smoke in vehicles regardless of whether you have windows open,” he said.

“The more confined and the more enclosed, the higher levels there are of exposure and there is what we call a dose-response relationship -- the more exposure the more adverse health effects.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Studies Show Smokers Are Smoking Less

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) - Fewer American adults are smoking cigarettes, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The report also says that daily smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes each day.

The report covers data from 2005 to 2010 and shows an estimated 19.3 percent of American adults, aged 18 and older, continue to smoke, marking a decline from 20.9 percent in 2005.

CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. says that although any decline in the number of smokers is a step in the right direction, tobacco use still remains a significant health burden for the people of United States.

The data from CDC’s National Health Interview Survey show fewer American adults are smoking. However, the rate of the decline between 2005 and 2010 is slower than in the previous five-year period.

Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, says the slowing trend shows the need for more intensified efforts to reduce cigarette smoking amongst adults, and points to the success of efforts such as higher tobacco prices, aggressive media campaigns and graphic health warnings, to name a few.

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke kill an estimated 443,000 Americans each year. 

In addition to the loss of human life, the CDC also reports smoking costs about $193 billion annually in direct health care expenses and lost productivity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Apartment Kids Exposed to More Tobacco Smoke, Study Finds

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Children who live in apartments have more tobacco contaminants in their blood than those who live in detached homes -- even if smokers in the household don't light up indoors -- a new study suggests.

Research has linked secondhand smoke to a host of health conditions in kids, including asthma and respiratory infections, ear infections, low test scores and sudden infant death syndrome.

In this latest study, researchers drew upon a national survey of parents and children ages 6 through 18 that took place from 2001-2006.  In addition to reviewing responses to survey questions about smoking in the home, they also performed tests to check the levels of a contaminant called cotinine, a chemical which is present in the blood of children who have been exposed to the nicotine in tobacco smoke.  Only children who lived in homes in which no one smoked indoors were included in the analysis.

The research showed that children who lived in apartments generally had higher levels of tobacco smoke contaminants in their blood than children who lived in detached houses.  They also found that tobacco contaminant levels were highest in children under 12, those who were black, and those living below the federal poverty level.

One of the study authors, Dr. Jonathon Winickoff at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said he believes his findings will help create the social and political will to push people toward establishing smoke-free housing policies.

The study hauthors suggest that children in apartment-style housing are exposed to higher levels of tobacco smoke because of shared walls, ventilation systems and ductwork.  Secondhand smoke can seep through these shared structures and into apartments in which no one smokes inside the home.  Once the secondhand smoke is no longer visible to the eye, it can still be absorbed by furniture, carpets, curtains, clothing, toys, and other items that children come into contact with and even put in their mouths. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Surgeon General Says No Exposure to Tobacco Smoke Is Safe

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke, according to the latest surgeon general's report released Thursday.

The report, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease, finds that even an occasional cigarette, inhaled directly or secondhand, "causes immediate damage to your body that can lead to serious illness or death."

Inhaling tobacco smoke exposes you to over 7,000 chemicals and compounds, hundreds of which are toxic and at least 70 of which cause cancer.  Regardless of whether a cigarette is filtered, low-tar or light, they still carry the same disease risk as regular ones.

Nearly half a million Americans die each year from exposure to tobacco smoke.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Second-Hand Smoke Could Lead to Hearing Loss

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(ATLANTA) – A new study has revealed another side effect to breathing second-hand smoke, reports Science Daily.

According to research published in Tobacco Control, non-smokers who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are at an increased risk of levels of hearing loss.

The data, compiled from yearly household surveys and physical examinations of a sample of the U.S. population, determined that former smokers and passive smokers were both associated with impaired hearing. Previous studies have already determined that smokers are at a higher risk of impaired hearing.

About nine percent of those who have never smoked but have been exposed to second-hand smoke had a low- to mid-frequency of hearing loss. Just fewer than 27 percent had a high frequency of hearing loss.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio