Washington: Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) may pose respiratory problems in children, which can persist well beyond childhood, independent of whether or not those individuals end up becoming smokers later in life. For more than three decades, researchers have warned of the potential health risks associated with tobacco smoke exposure, especially among children whose parents smoke.Now, a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Arizona reports that these effects can persist into adulthood.“This study shows that exposure to parental smoking increases the risk of persistence of respiratory symptoms from childhood into adulthood independent of personal smoking,” said Juliana Pugmire, MPH, DrPH., research specialist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.“Persistent respiratory illness in childhood and young adulthood could indicate an increased risk of chronic respiratory illness and lung function deficits in later life,” she stated.Although a significant proportion of children throughout the world are exposed to ETS, primarily as a result of their parents` smoking, there is little information regarding the long-term effects of that exposure, Dr. Pugmire noted.“Earlier studies established a link between parental smoking and childhood respiratory illness, but in this study, we sought to demonstrate whether these effects persisted into adulthood,” she said.
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