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Second Hand Smoke Leads to Increased Childhood Illness

May 02, 2016 01:42 PM EDT
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Smoking is one of the reasons for chronic lung diseases in smokers and non-smokers alike, but recent study reveals that exposure to second hand smoke leads to increased childhood illnesses alarming the pediatric community.

Science Daily recently published a study from the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting 2016. According to a study, children who lived with smokers and are exposed to tobacco smoke get more illnesses as compared to children with no exposure to smokers.

The research entitled, "Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Health Care Utilization among Children Nationwide," studied the statistics presented from 2011-2012 by the National Survey on Children's Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

"Results showed a total of 24 percent of the 95,677 children in the study, corresponding to a weighted total of 17.6 million children across the United States, lived with smokers. About 5 percent of the children lived with someone who smokes inside the home, equivalent to a weighted sum of 3.6 million U.S. children" according to the same report by Science Daily.

Tobacco contains high amount of nicotine. It also a known cause of dental problems, halitosis and the more chronic illnesses such as liver, larynx and lung cancer, stroke, hypertension and bronchitis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are about 6 millions preventable deaths each year due to smoking.

Apparently, smoking also drastically affects the health of children who live or exposed to second hand tobacco smoke. In the abstract released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Lead author Ashley Merianos, PhD, Assistant Professor in the School of Human Services at the University of Cincinnati and a certified health education specialist said "Settings with a high volume of children exposed to tobacco smoke at home, including pediatric emergency departments, could serve as effective outlets for health messages to inform caregivers about the dangers of smoking around children and help decrease these potentially preventable tobacco smoke exposure-related visits and associated costs."

These just shows that the long debate regarding the public health safety issue when it comes to tobacco have a more significant social value than just causing diseases with adults. With the findings by Dr. Merianos, more distributors, law-makers and smokers should re-think their lifestyle since it is now backed up by science that smoking leads to increase illnesses affecting the fragile immune system of children.

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