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Babies who sleep with smoker parents exhibit high nicotine levels
Date:3/29/2011

"Third-hand smoke" stuck to skin or clothing is responsible for the high nicotine levels seen in babies who share a bedroom with their smoker parents. This is the conclusion of a study carried out in Catalonia, which also shows that ventilating bedrooms is not effective in reducing the levels of toxins from passive smoking.

"Passive smoking is the leading preventable cause of childhood death in developed countries", Guadalupe Ortega, lead author of the research study and coordinator of the Atenci Primria Sense Fum programme at the Department of Health of the Generalitat de Catalua (Catalonia regional government) tells SINC.

The data show that babies who sleep in the same room as their parents exhibit nicotine levels three times higher than those that sleep in another room. These figures show that they suffer from what is known as "third-hand smoke", in other words the harmful smoke particles that impregnate their parents' skin, clothes and hair.

Known as BIBE (Brief Intervention in Babies. Effectiveness) "the study highlights exposure to tobacco smoke among this very vulnerable age group in private spaces, where no specific programmes are yet in place", says Ortega.

The study, published in BMC Public Health, the results of which are currently being studied, involved the participation of 96 primary healthcare centres in Catalonia. The experts interviewed the parents of 1,123 babies (under 18 months of age), who had at least one smoking parent. They analysed hair samples from 252 babies in order to determine their nicotine levels, and carried out follow-up visits three and six months later.

The parents' statements largely coincided with the results obtained from the hair analysis 73% of the adults said they smoked or allowed smoking in their homes, while 83% of the hair analysed showed up high nicotine levels.

The myth of ventilation

The hair nicotine analyses also showed that smoke toxins
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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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