Secondhand smoke exposure in childhood increases lung cancer risk later in life
Even if they never smoke, children exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk of developing lung cancer as an adult, a new study has found. Two cohorts were followed, with information on secondhand smoke history collected and DNA genotyping of the MBL2 gene (which affects susceptibility to respiratory diseases) performed. An association between childhood secondhand smoke exposure and risk of lung cancer as an adult was found; MBL2 activity was associated with an even greater increase in risk among those exposed to secondhand smoke as a child. The results, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, indicate that children should not be exposed to secondhand smoke due to long-term health effects. Click here to read more about the study or here to read the abstract.
Exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke over a lifetime increased breast cancer risk later in life
A new study suggests that breast cancer risk is increased slightly in non-smoking postmenopausal women who are exposed to high cumulative levels of secondhand smoke. The prospective study followed 57,523 California women over the course of a decade, gathering information on duration and age of first passive smoke exposure and development of breast cancer. A significant dose-response relationship occurred in women exposed to moderate to high levels of secondhand smoke exposure; risk was highest for women with high levels of exposure as adults and postmenopausal women with the highest levels of cumulative exposure. While this study provides more evidence of the hazards of secondhand smoke, more research must be done to assess exposure patterns and breast cancer risk. Click here to read more; to view the abstract of the study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, click here.
Rodent smokescreen: Rat model shows tobacco smoke exposure induces brain changes indicative of nicotine dependence
A study published in the journal Psychopharmacology shows that rats passively exposed to tobacco smoke showed signs of nicotine dependence. Rats were passively exposed to cigarette smoke for a few hours per day during the course of four experiments that examined the rats’ brain response and the display of withdrawal symptoms by the rats. The exposed rats showed physical withdrawal signs and nicotine-induced changes to the brain, indicating the beginnings of nicotine dependence and providing a model to investigate the effects of passive tobacco smoke on the human brain. Click here to read more or click here to view the study abstract.
Study confirms association between tobacco smoke and behavioral problems in children
New research shows that children exposed to tobacco smoke in the womb and during the first year of life have an increased risk of developing behavioral problems once they reach school age. The study followed a birth cohort of 5991 children and found that children exposed to tobacco smoke prenatally have 1.9 times the risk of developing abnormal behavioral symptoms compared to children without any exposure; children exposed for the first year after birth have a 1.3 times higher risk of developing such symptoms. Click here to read a summary of the findings. Click here to read the abstract of the study, which has been accepted for publication in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Updated ordinance to create smokefree housing from TALC
The Technical Assistance Legal Center (TALC) has updated its model ordinance to help California cities and counties limit exposure to secondhand smoke in all types of multi-unit residences, including apartment buildings and condo complexes. TALC’s comprehensive new ordinance offers a variety of options, including restricting smoking in common areas (indoors and outdoors), creating smokefree buffer zones, and prohibiting smoking in individual units. The ordinance provides a step-by-step approach to designating nonsmoking units. TALC also has developed a checklist highlighting its key policy options and outlining the steps involved in getting a local ordinance adopted. While the model ordinance is designed for localities in California, the checklist could be of use to any city or county seeking to limit smoke exposure in multi-unit housing. Click here to download the TALC’s new model ordinance, or click here for the policy adoption checklist.
Updated Smokefree Casinos handout from ANRF
The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) has an updated Smokefree Casinos four-page handout that may be useful in campaigns for smokefree legislation that involve education about the importance of smokefree casino jobsites. It includes basic information about the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) Report, current smokefree gaming laws, quotes from supportive poker champions, and more. Click here to download a PDF of this handout. Also, ANRF has two great freestanding smokefree casino banners that coalitions are welcome to borrow for press conferences, events, etc. For more information, contact Annie Tegen.
Nicotine levels higher in children exposed to secondhand smoke in the home
Research indicates that among those exposed to secondhand smoke in the home, nicotine levels in children are higher than in women. Hair samples from 1284 children and 852 nonsmoking women from 31 countries were analyzed for nicotine concentrations to determine the amount of exposure to secondhand smoke. The findings indicate that compared to study participants with low air nicotine concentrations, women in homes with high indoor air nicotine concentrations had three times the level of hair nicotine concentrations and children had 6.8 times the level of hair nicotine concentrations. Children under six years old had 12% higher levels than older children; those that spent more than 19 hours a day in the home had 15% higher levels than those that did not. The study findings supply evidence to support efforts for home smoking bans. Click here to read an article about the findings, or click here for the abstract published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
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