Passive smoking for children increases chronic lung risk

Passive smoking for children increases chronic lung risk

Childhood passive smoking is "likely to add seven deaths to every 100,000 non-smoking adults dying annually, American researchers found.


The study of 70,900 non-smoking men and women was led by the American Cancer Society, BBC reports.


Smoke exposure of 10 or more hours every week increased the risk for children of smokers of death from ischemic heart disease by 27%, stroke by 23% and chronic obstructive lung disease by 42% compared to those who lived with non-smokers.


Participants were questioned about their exposure to smoking throughout their lives, and then their health was tracked over the next 22 years.


This is the first study to identify an association between childhood exposure to second-hand smoke and death from chronic obstructive lung disease in middle age and beyond. Our findings provide further evidence for reducing second-hand smoke exposure throughout life", Dr Ryan Diver, one of the report's authors, said.


Best option – quit smoking


"The best way to do this is for parents to quit", comments for BBC Hazel Cheeseman, of campaign group Action on Smoking and Health. If not, she advises parents to smoke outside to protect children from harm.


Lifelong risks


Children whose parents smoke are known to be at risk of asthma and poor lung development. Childhood second-hand smoking may also increase chronic illness and healthcare dependency in later life.