June 27, 2012 at 2:06 am Comments (0)
A study co-authored by Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles, found that passive smoking increases risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Based on the results of the study, adults who are not smokers but are exposed to second hand smoke were more at risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes, when compared against non-smokers who have no environmental exposure to secondhand smoke.
The study involved the use of serum cotinine levels in order to verify passive smoking. This is something that has not been done by other studies that also suggested a link between Type 2 diabetes and passive smoking, according to Dr. Friedman. Serum cotinine measures a person’s exposure to tobacco smoke.
Dr. Friedman and his colleagues examined data from more than 6,300 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001 to 2006. Current smokers were defined by the researchers as those who admit to smoking cigarettes and had a measured serum cotinine level greater than 3 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Non-smokers, on the other hand, were defined as those who do not admit to smoking cigarettes and whose serum cotinine levels were below 0.05 ng/mL.
Those who do not admit to smoking but whose serum cotinine levels were above 0.05 ng/mL were called passive smokers.
The study showed that passive smokers had a higher measure of insulin resistance, higher levels of fasting blood glucose or blood sugar, higher rate of Type 2 diabetes, and a higher body mass index (BMI).
February 7, 2012 at 3:16 am Comments (0)
Despite the fact that the rate of exposure to secondhand smoke in cars showed a decline between 2000 and 2009, there are still one too many high school and middle school students who ride in cars while other passengers are smoking.
A research effort from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 1 in 5 high school and middle school students are exposed to secondhand smoke in vehicles. This type of secondhand smoke has been associated with breathing problems and allergy symptoms, and the report called for more restrictions in order to prevent this exposure.
Anti-smoking advocates have been especially keen on exposure to secondhand smoke in cars, as there is research that showed that vehicles are potentially more dangerous than smoke-filled bars and other areas which are not as confined.
The researchers performed an analysis of data from national surveys conducted at public and private high schools and middle schools. The survey asked students about how often they rode in vehicles with someone else smoking in them within the past week, among other things.
According to the CDC, no level of exposure to secondhand smoke can be considered risk-free. CDC researcher Brian King, lead author of the study, shared that despite the decline in smoking rates in cars between 2000 and 2009, the number of kids who are exposed to secondhand smoke in vehicles is still “problematic.” He shared further: “The car is the only source of exposure for some of these children, so if you can reduce that exposure, it’s definitely advantageous for health.”
July 11, 2011 at 3:53 am Comments (0)
As times goes by, and more research efforts are completed, the list of reasons why it is necessary for any smoker to kick their cigarette habits is getting longer. Studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics have just added another reason to that list.
A feature on CNN shared the results of the studies, which linked exposure to secondhand smoke to increased risks in developing learning disabilities or ADHD in children.
One of the studies determined that children who were exposed to secondhand smoke at home were 50 percent more likely to develop two or more childhood neurobehavioral disorders, when compared against children who were not exposed to secondhand smoke.
The study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. The study authors concluded that “[The findings] underscore the health burden of childhood neurobehavioral disorders that may be attributable to secondhand smoke exposure in homes in the States… This is particularly significant with regard to the potential burden of pediatric mental health care on an overextended health care system, a problem that could be dramatically reduced if voluntary smoke-free home policies were widely adopted.”
Another study, on the other hand, provided a relatively more positive insight into children who have been exposed to secondhand smoke. It was found that among children between the ages of 8 and 13 who lived with at least one adult smoker, those who found the smell of cigarette smoke “unpleasant” or “gross” were 78 percent less likely to become smokers themselves.
December 15, 2010 at 5:23 am Comment (1)
For families living in apartment buildings, living in a non-smoking household may not be enough protection from exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke.
According to a report by Reuters, a study led by Dr. Karen Wilson of the University of Rochester determined that among children who lived in households that did not have smokers, those whose families lived in apartment buildings or multi-dwelling complexes were exposed to an average of 45 percent more tobacco smoke, when compared against children who lived in detached houses.
Dr. Wilson shared the following statement with Reuters Health: “People need to be aware that the behavior of smokers in one apartment can affect the people living in other units. We’re still learning more and more about just how significant the effects of secondhand smoke are and just how small the exposure can be to have an effect.”
The Reuters Health feature shared that the research team noted that despite the fact that no one in an apartment is a smoker, tobacco smoke can still find its way into the apartment through walls, windows, and ventilation systems. Toxins due to tobacco smoke can also stay in a room long after a person has smoked an actual cigarette; this has come to be known as “thirdhand smoke”.
Senior author Dr. Winickoff of the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Harvard Medical School in Boston told Reuters Health: “I think this current study is the last link in the chain of evidence demonstrating the need for smoke-free buildings… It will make it very hard for any landlord or municipality to allow smoking where a child lives, sleeps and breathes.”
December 12, 2010 at 5:36 am Comments (0)
A feature on Latino Fox News shared that top health leaders in the Hispanic community have expressed agreement with the details of the recent Surgeon General Report released by Dr. Regina Benjamin. The report, entitled How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease, indicates that there is no such thing as a safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke, and that the impact of the chemicals in secondhand smoke is immediate.
Latinos as a group are considered as least likely to smoke, but according to Hispanic health leaders, cigarette smoke is a “big issue” in their community.
Dr. Jane L. Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and advocacy group, said: “New data released this year shows that Hispanic eighth graders are now more likely to smoke than their peers… It is a recruitment of new smokers by the tobacco industry that must be shut down.”
November 27, 2010 at 2:35 am Comments (0)
A study conducted by the World Health Organization lends credence to the fact that smoking does not just impact the smoker; it affects the other people around him or her as well.
Reuters reported that a study by researchers from the WHO revealed that one in a hundred deaths around the world can be attributed to passive smoking. The study is the first of its kind, and assessed the global impact of second hand smoke.
The WHO also revealed that children are the ones who are most exposed to second-hand smoke among all the age groups. This exposure, according to the study, results in 165,000 deaths a year among children. The study, led by Annette Pruss-Ustun of the WHO Geneva, said in part that “two-thirds of these deaths occur in Africa and south Asia.”
Children are most likely exposed to second-hand smoke at home, and the mortality rates of children in these regions may be the result of the “deadly combination” of infectious diseases and tobacco. The study indicated further that 40 percent of children, 33 percent of whom were of non-smoking men, and 35 percent were of non-smoking women, were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2004.
Deaths among children were said to have been more prevalent in poor and middle-income countries. The same did not hold true for adults, however, as deaths among that age group were spread at all income levels.
Researchers from the WHO studied data from 192 countries, starting from the year 2004. They employed mathematical modeling in estimating the deaths.