Tag Archives: Effects

How Dangerous is Outdoor Second-Hand Smoke?

Indoor smoking bans have forced smokers at bars and restaurants onto outdoor patios, but a new study suggests that these outdoor smoking areas might be creating a new health hazard.

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The study, thought to be the first to assess levels of a nicotine byproduct known as cotinine in nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke outdoors, found levels up to 162 percent greater than in the control group.

Secondhand smoke contains several known carcinogens, and there may be no safe level of exposure.

Cigarettes are also “widely contaminated” with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people, according to a new international study.

The research team describes the study as the first to show that cigarettes could be the direct source of exposure to a wide array of potentially pathogenic microbes among smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke.

Bacteria of medical significance to humans were identified in all of the tested cigarettes and included:

•Acinetobacter (associated with lung and blood infections)
•Bacillus (some varieties associated with food-borne illnesses and anthrax)
•Burkholderia (some forms responsible for respiratory infections)
•Clostridium (associated with food-borne illnesses and lung infections)
•Klebsiella (associated with a variety of lung, blood and other infections)
•Pseudomonas aeruginosa (an organism that causes 10 percent of all hospital-acquired infections in the United States)

Click to see:->Passive smoking a ‘global threat’, WHO warns

Resources:
Science Blog November 18, 2009
Eurekalert November 19, 2009
Environmental Health Perspectives October 22, 2009
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene November 2009; 6(11):698-704

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Are You a Third-hand Smoker?

This photo illustrates smoke in a pub, a commo...

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If you had always thought that puffing is dangerous to only the active and passive smokers, think again, as ‘third hand smoking‘ can even lead to cancer.
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The toxic particles emitted in the smoke of a cigarette get clinged to the place you stay much after your cigarette is over and it can very well affect your children’s health as you try to smoke in their absence, a new study said.

“There are carcinogens in this third-hand smoke, and they are a cancer risk for anybody of any age who comes into contact with them, said Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician.
Experts have identified this smoking-related threat to children’s health, which has been termed as third-hand smoke.

“Everyone knows that second-hand smoke is bad, but they don’t know about this,” the lead author of the study, Jonathan P Winickoff, also a pediatrician said.

These toxic particles also remain attached to the smoker’s clothing or hair or upholstery. The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials that young children can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they’re crawling or playing on the floor.

“When their kids are out of the house, they might smoke. Or they smoke in the car. Or they strap the kid in the car seat in the back and crack the window and smoke, and they think it’s okay because the second-hand smoke isn’t getting to their kids,” Dr. Winickoff continued. “We needed a term to describe these tobacco toxins that aren’t visible.”

Doctors from MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston coined the term “third-hand smoke” to describe these chemicals in a new study that focused on the risks they pose to infants and children.

“The central message here is that simply closing the kitchen door to take a smoke is not protecting the kids from the effects of that smoke,” Landrigan said.

Sources: The Times Of India

Why Just One Cigarette Can Get You Hooked

A Canadian study has suggested that it may take only one cigarette for some people to get addicted to nicotine, because of how their brains are wired.

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By manipulating receptors in the brains of rats, researchers were able to control whether the first exposure to nicotine was enjoyable or repulsive. They experimented on two types of receptors for dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain’s reward circuitry.

By blocking the receptors, the researchers were able to switch how nicotine was processed — from repulsive to rewarding or positive. The natural variations that occur between people may therefore explain why some are more likely to become addicted to nicotine.
Sources:
CBC News August 5, 2008
The Journal of Neuroscience, August 6, 2008, 28(32):8025-8033

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