STUDY LINKS CHILDRENíS PRE- AND POST-NATAL EXPOSURE TO SECONDHAND SMOKE TO DEVELOPMENT OF ASTHMA AND OTHER RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS AS ADULTS

There has never been a positive story about second-hand tobacco smoke. This will not be one, either.

An 11-year study published in the first July issue of the American Thoracic Society’s (ATS) peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that children’s pre- and post-natal exposure to environmental (passive or secondhand) tobacco smoke carries with it a substantial risk of developing asthma and respiratory symptoms as adults.

Data from 2,819 participants indicated that exposure to pre- and post-natal maternal smoking as well as childhood passive smoking from other household members accounted for almost 25% of the cases of adult asthma.

The researchers believe this to be the first study establishing pre- and post-natal exposure to passive smoking creates a lasting vulnerability to asthma or respiratory symptoms.

Clearly, if the team’s conclusions are correct, one in four cases of adult asthma could be prevented if children were not exposed to environmental tobacco smoke before birth and in early childhood.

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