'Side' Smoke Hurts Infants and Children
April 23, 2002 -- Blowing cigarette smoke away from your loved ones may not be saving them from harm. A new study shows that the smoke from a burning cigarette alone is enough to cause damage in the lungs, and infants and children may be especially at ris
Researchers now say that the smoke produced between puffs, known as side-stream smoke, may damage the lungs of nonsmokers. That's in addition to the damage caused by second-hand smoke, which is exhaled by a smoker and then inhaled by another.
James F. Collins, PhD, of the University of Arizona, presented the findings this week at the Experimental Biology 2002 conference in New Orleans.
His study showed that exposure to side-stream smoke for 60 minutes a day over a period of two weeks caused rats to experience changes that could affect how well their lungs function. The exposure affected a protein thought to be involved in the production of a substance known as pulmonary surfactant, which is needed for normal lung function.
Researchers say the disorder may be especially damaging to infants and children as their lungs grow. They say the study offers yet another reason for smokers to keep their unhealthy habit away from others.