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Preteens surrounded by smokers get hooked on nicotine
Date:6/13/2011

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As part of the study, 327 sixth or seventh graders enrolled in French-language public schools were questioned about their smoking habits, the number of smokers in their entourage and the situations where they observed smoking. "Preteens who were surrounded by more smokers believed that there are greater advantages to smoking," says Racicot. "Therefore, smoking by parents, siblings, and friends increases risk factors for later smoking."

Participants also provided a spit sample to measure cotinine, a by-product of nicotine. Salivary cotinine provides an indicator of smoking over the previous one to three days. Because all the kids recruited to this study had never consumed cigarettes, negligible amounts of cotinine were found. In the next study, the researchers will measure nicotine samples from hair, which provides an indicator of smoking patterns over the last month.

The research team says new prevention efforts must be tailored to tweens who are highly exposed to secondhand smoke. The general public also needs to be educated on how smoking around youth normalizes a dangerous habit.

"When it comes to smoking around kids, the best thing a parent can do is to avoid exposing their kids to cigarettes and to secondhand smoke," says Racicot. "A parent should step outside of their home or car to smoke. And the addictive habit should remain out of sight, out of breath and out of mind."


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Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
s-j.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424 x5068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert  

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Preteens surrounded by smokers get hooked on nicotine
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