New study: Kids at Risk Even if Parents Go Out to Smoke-Study

“STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Children of parents who smoke face double the risk of passive-smoking-related diseases than children of non-smokers even if the smoking mom or dad lights up only outdoors, a Swedish study showed on Monday. The World Health Organization regards environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure as a health hazard which affects almost half of the world’s children. The results of this study indicates that smoking behavior in the home is of significance for children’s ETS exposure,”” said a Linkoping University doctoral dissertation published in the April issue of the medical journal Pediatrics. Researchers at the university in central Sweden said they had detected double as high levels of cotinine — a chemical created when the body processes nicotine — in the urine of children whose parents smoked only outdoors with the door closed than for a control group of children with non-smoking parents. Since nicotine is highly specific for tobacco smoke, cotinine levels track exposure to tobacco smoke and its toxic constituents. “”One can speculate that it’s from the smoker’s breath but we have not studied this and we can’t be sure,”” AnnaKarin Johansson, one of the researchers at Linkoping University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, told Reuters by telephone. For children of parents who varied their smoking between outdoors and by an open window the exposure was 2.4 times higher, and for children in homes where parents smoked by the kitchen fan or outdoors it was more than three times higher. In homes where parents regularly smoked indoors the exposure was 15 times higher than for children in the control group. The study carried out from April 2001 to January 2003 analyzed urine samples from 366 children with at least one smoking parent and from 433 children of non-smoking parents. All children were between 2.5 and three years old. © Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.”””