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09:35 AM

The Washington Post: Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

By Kate Furby

Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke is linked to lung disease decades later, according to a study published Thursday by the American Cancer Society.

For 22 years, researchers have been following more than 70,000 adults who have never smoked. At the beginning of the study, they were asked whether they lived in a household with a smoker while they were children. Those who did were 31 percent more likely to die of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is the first study to find a correlation between the two.

The surgeon general defines secondhand smoke as both the smoke from the burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by smokers. “Whether you are young or old, healthy or sick, secondhand smoke is dangerous,” the surgeon general's report said, “no amount of secondhand smoke is safe.”

“There is evidence that secondhand smoke is even more detrimental than smoking. A lot of cigarettes have filters. So it [secondhand smoke] can be more detrimental in that regard,” said Geetha Raghuveer, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Mercy Kansas City and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine.


Read the full article via The Washington Post.

Learn more about the Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy.