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Second-Hand Smoking Can Lead to Nicotine Addiction in Children

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 2:55 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Protecting Your Family, Paul Newman, Cigarette Smoking, Lung Cancer, Tobacco, Second-Hand Smoke


IMAGE SOURCE: © Wikimedia Commons / Paul Newman / author: Majestic

Second-hand smoking is not only harmful, but it sets a bad example for children. If that isn’t warning enough, a Montreal study shows second-hand smoke can lead to nicotine addiction in children.

“Increased exposure to second-hand smoke, both in homes and in cars, was linked with an increased likelihood of children reporting nicotine addiction – even though, these kids had never actually smoked a cigarette,” said senior study author, Jennifer O’Loughlin, M Sc, PhD, an epidemiologist at Universite de Montreal.

The study, published in the September issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors, involved nine Canadian institutions and elaborates on earlier research that found second-hand smoke (SHS) in non-smokers and withdrawal symptoms which include anxiety, depression and trouble concentrating.

Five percent of 1,488 children who had never smoked, but were exposed to SHS reported symptoms of nicotine addiction.

The stigma and blame associated with this deadly disease and the small number of people that survive the fight, have made lung cancer the least funded of all major cancers.

It has been previously documented that children who are exposed to second-hand smoke pick up a cigarette earlier than other children, said O’Loughlin, who in an earlier study, outlined the stepping stones to tobacco addiction, showing it can take just one puff of a cigarette to turn a teenager into a smoker.

Mathieu Belanger, lead investigator and and director of the Centre de Formation Medicale du Nouveau Brunswick was shocked to find evidence of nicotine dependence in children as young as 10, even though they had never smoked. But he was not surprised to find it was related to second-hand smoke.

Researchers were unable to make a direct association between cause and effect.

Another study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health in the U.S. found tobacco companies deliberately manipulated menthol levels in cigarettes depending on whom they marketed them to.

Tobacco companies used lower levels of menthol to hook young smokers who preferred a milder brand, while using higher levels of menthol to hook lifelong adult smokers, according to the study.

Menthol masks the harsh taste of cigarettes, leaving the first-time smoker with a milder, more pleasant experience.

Death of an American Icon

On September 26, 2008 Paul Newman, an icon of American stage and film, loved by audiences around the world died of lung cancer.

Reports began to surface two months ago that the actor was undergoing lung cancer treatment. Several of those reports referred to him as a “former chain smoker.”

An estimated 215,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year and the majority will die within 12 months. Lung cancer claims more lives each year than all major cancers combined including breast and colon cancer.

Nearly half of them are former smokers whom quit decades ago while never realizing they will always be at increased risk of developing lung cancer. Another 15 percent have never smoked a cigarette at all.

The Lung Cancer Alliance, the only non-profit dedicated to patient support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for lung cancer, is committed to those who have died and to the families that have been affected by this devastating disease. #


Anonymous User
Posted by Bob
Wednesday, October 01, 2008 6:55 AM EST

Kids are now getting more smoke than ever at home now that their parents supposedly can't smoke in bars with their adult friends.

Posted by Steve Hartwell
Wednesday, October 01, 2008 10:14 PM EST

Um, pardon me while I try to comprehend what is being said by this article. 215,000 out of 300,000,000 = ?? um, 0.07 per cent ? 0.15 % for smokers. Wow. I can see how so many people can believe that those percentages are VERY SCARY justifying eradication of smoking tobacco ! Then further, the other HALF were not smokers -- oh, hmm, butt then which means that lung cancer is a multi-factoral disease, the cause of which is indeterminable by junk science epidemiologic studies such as the ones refered to ? And, - how old was Paul Newman when he died ? um, 83 ? How many people live that long or much longer than that ? And if these are the figures for smokers and former smokers and never smokers, it all seems to really say that Second Hand Tobacco Smoke is NOT a Statistically Significant Health - not even to children. Or, does 2 + 2 = 5 now, like in George Orwell's book 1984, and henny penny rules ? Apparently so - steve hartwell LINK

Anonymous User
Posted by virgilk
Wednesday, October 01, 2008 10:19 PM EST

True Science is supposed to be about the truth. To anyone, paying attention to the real world, there is no truth in the Smoke Free Movement. It all started with fraudulent reports and nothing has changed since 1993. Out of 150 SHS/ETS studies only 4 found a possibility of Risk, not harm, just risk. We have more risk in our homes from cleaning products, building materials and the food we eat. The real health threat is from gas, diesel engines and radon gas in homes.

Studies show, children living near major hi-ways and in urban areas are 50% or more susceptible to Lung/respiratory infections Asthma/Cancer than those living a thousand yards from major roads and cities. Wood smoke is a major carcinogen. Cooking particulates are more dangerous than SHS/ETS.

Johnson and Johnson created the RWJF with $5.6 Billion in stock to fund Smoking Bans and have seen their stock profits increase 40%. Can anyone say, conflict of interest/fraud?

Anonymous User
Posted by Conny Dittrich
Saturday, October 04, 2008 2:27 AM EST

The result of this study is insignificant.
After controlling for sibling and peer smoking, and susceptibility to initiating smoking, exposure to SHS in a motor vehicle was independently associated with ND symptoms (OR, 95% CI = 1.2, 1.0–1.4). The OR for number of persons who smoke inside the home was 1.1 (0.9–1.4).
Is it not strange that the effects on children seem to be greater when exposed in a car than at home. Were these kids more and longer exposed in a car than at home?
Researchers were unable to make a direct association between cause and effect. (This means we have proven nothing) And of course other article state: "More studies are needed. (This means, we need more money). This study should have gone straight into the bin. Results are not surprising as the researchers have a conflict of interest. They work for tobacco control. Their aim is: Strengthening the links between research, practice and public policy to reduce the burden of smoking.

Anonymous User
Posted by kayci
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 10:21 AM EST

Paul Newman: Smoked all his life and lived to be 83 - longer than most men in his country.

This study: 95% of kids around environmental tobacco smoke for 10-12 years, and no desire to smoke. 95% is a statistically significant number. 5% is not.

Only 5% of kids interested in smoking? That's way down from - what?

Anonymous User
Posted by kayci
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 12:40 PM EST

This study showed that 95% of children ages 10-12 gave no indication of a desire to light a cigarette.

"Sixty-nine of 1488 never-smokers (5%) reported one or more ND symptom. After controlling for sibling and peer smoking, and susceptibility to initiating smoking, exposure to SHS in a motor vehicle was independently associated with ND symptoms (OR, 95% CI = 1.2, 1.0–1.4). The OR for number of persons who smoke inside the home was 1.1 (0.9–1.4)." (these are scientifically, statistically insignificant results, by the way.)

The authors, however, reported that

"SHS exposure in motor vehicles may be associated with ND symptoms among young never-smokers. If replicated, this finding provides support for interventions that promote non-smoking in motor vehicles."

What? If you replicate junk science a million times, it still supports nothing at all.

The questions asked of the non-smoking children:

"Do you find it difficult not to smoke in places where it is not allowed (at a movie theatre, at home if your parents don't know you smoke)?"

"How physically addicted to smoking cigarettes are you?"

"How mentally addicted to smoking cigarettes are you?"

"How often do you have cravings to smoke cigarettes?"

"How often have you felt like you really need a cigarette?"

"When you see other kids your age smoking cigarettes, how easy is it for you not to smoke?"

"[Do you} sometimes have strong cravings for cigarettes where it feels like [you are] in the grip of a force you cannot control?"


How is a 10-12 year-old child who has never smoked supposed to answer these questions? Further, these questions do not even address nicotine depencence in non-smokers. They are biased and leading questions for non-smoking children.

The study could have put the kids in various relaxing/stressful/playful/serious/funny/other situations, all including smoking and non-smoking PLUS other volatile aromas by turns. If I were looking for addictive behavior, the questions I'd want answered are those related to signs of an addiction withdrawal.

... such as irritability, inability to concentrate, insomnia, fatigue, or headache.

Obviously, I would have to control for other conditions besides ETS to get results that might indicate any desire for further study and expense.

My questions are, "Do the media know how to read a study before they report fake warnings based on biased pseudo-science?" Do you think they should know?"


Comments for this article are closed.

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