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Passive Smoking Can Cause Heart Disease In Children, Study Says

First Posted: Sep 14, 2016 04:20 AM EDT
Youth Activists Rally Against Tobacco Use
A study reveals that exposure to passive smoking can cause health issues such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases to children.
(Photo : Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Your children's health may be at risk through exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke. This may cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, according to researchers.

The study was printed in the journal Circulation. It indicates that the increased level of poison coming from the smoke that comes from the end of a burning cigarette or what you called sidestream smoke harms the blood vessels of the children, according to Indian Express.

In a national study in 2011 to 2012 that involved blood tests, the researchers identified a nicotine metabolite known as cotinine in almost 41 percent of children aged between 3 and 11 years and about 34 percent of children aged between 12 to 19. Geetha Raghuveer, Professor at Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics in the U.S. said that cigarette smoke exposure is harmful to children's long-term health and may shorten life expectancy. She advised the parents to make their children's environment smoke-free.

The passive smoking causes cardiovascular disease by harming the arteries. This exposure has also been linked with other cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol, obesity, and insulin resistance, according to Business Standard.

Secondhand smoke is the mixture of the sidestream smoke and the smoke breathed out by smokers. This contains over 7,000 chemicals and very damaging to people, especially to the children. It was reported that about 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died caused by breathing secondhand smoke. Infants and children who breathe the secondhand smoke could cause several health problems. These include respiratory infections, asthma attacks, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and ear infections. In adults, it may cause stroke, coronary heart disease, and lung cancer.

In the recent study, the researchers said that children exposed to cigarette smoke could cause early heart disease as adults. This is because of the weakly functioning, stiffer blood vessels. Professor Raghuveer said that encouraging adults to quit smoking is a cost-effective and health-enhancing strategy that would be beneficial for adults and children. She concluded that raising cigarette taxes to discourage smoking could also lessen childhood exposure to cigarette smoking.

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