Carcinogens Found in Infant Children of Smokers

Research Summary

Researchers have found that infants as young as three months old accumulate nicotine and carcinogens in their bodies when they are exposed to tobacco smoke, the Guardian reported May 12.

Authors of the study — the first to test smoke exposure on children so young — said that parents who smoking around infants could raise children’s’ risk of addiction, cancer, and other health problems later in life. “The take-home message is that parents should not smoke around their children, because they will suffer from the exposure,” said Stephen Hecht of the University of Minnesota cancer center.

The study of 144 children (ages three months to one year) who lived with family members who smoked found that 98 percent had nicotine in their urine, and 93 percent had cotinine, a marker for nicotine metabolism. Further, 47 percent of the infants had detectable levels of NNAL, a carcinogenic metabolite of cigarette smoke.

“Persistent exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in childhood could be related to cancer later in life,” said Hecht

The study appears in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.
Source: The Guardian May 15 2006

Filed under: Health,Nicotine,Parents,Youth :

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