Are kids who exposed to second hand smoke more likely to light up later in life themselves?
Scientists writing in this month’s Pediatrics say exposure to cigarette smoke in childhood does contribute to risk for future cigarette smoking. They set out to identify the mechanisms that contribute to smoking susceptibility and provide information about early smoking prevention.
They specifically looked at whether or not sensitivity to secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe) contributes to smoking susceptibility.
Subjects were high-risk, ethnically diverse 8 to 13-year-olds who never smoked and who lived with at least 1 smoker and who participated in a longitudinal SHSe reduction intervention trial.
Reactions (eg, feeling dizzy) to SHSe were assessed at baseline, and smoking susceptibility was assessed at baseline and 3 follow-up measurements over 12 months. The results, more black preteens reported feeling relaxed and calm, and fewer reported feeling a head rush or buzz compared with non-Hispanic white and Hispanic white counterparts. Those reporting SHSe as “unpleasant or gross” resulted in a 78 percent reduction in the probability of being assigned to the high–smoking susceptibility trajectory.
Researchers concluded, passive exposure to cigarette smoke in children is associated with susceptibility to cigarette smoking and smoking susceptibility predicts smoking initiation. Sensitivity to exposure to cigarette smoke may be a mechanism that helps explain the relationship between passive exposure and smoking susceptibility.
Also in the journal Pediatrics this month, the association between parent-reported postnatal secondhand tobacco smoke exposure in the home and neurobehavioral disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and conduct disorders in kids under12 years of age.
Scientists used the 2007 National Survey on Children’s Health and found a total of 6 percent of 55,358 children, corresponding to a weighted total of 4.8 million children across the United States, were exposed to SHS in the home.
The weighted prevalence and 95 percent confidence intervals of each of the children’s neurobehavioral outcomes were 8.2 percent (7.5–8.8) with learning disabilities, 5.9 percent (5.5–6.4) with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and 3.6 percent (3.1–4.0) with behavioral and conduct disorders.
Children exposed to SHS at home had a 50 percent increased odds of having ≥2 childhood neurobehavioral disorders compared with children who were not exposed to SHS. Boys had a significantly higher risk.
Older children, especially those aged 9 to 11 years, and those living in households with the highest poverty levels were at greater risk. In absolute terms, researchers say approximately 274,100 excess cases in total of these 3 disorders could have been prevented if children had not been exposed to SHS in their home.
To minimize the effects of secondhand smoke, Rhode Island has made it illegal to smoke in public work places, restaurants and public parks. Local health officials say each cigarette has over 1400 additives, many of which are known to cause cancer. For information on how to stop smoking, check out Quit Now RI .