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May 6, 2008

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Can Cause Cell Damage In 30 Minutes

Topics: Health Issues

smoke.jpgAccording to CDC data, cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States, with more than 400,000 Americans dying from cigarette smoking each year (one in every five deaths in the United States is smoking related). Exposure to secondhand smoke (or environmental tobacco smoke) causes an estimated 3,000 deaths from lung cancer, alone, among American adults, and according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, exposure to secondhand smoke even for a brief period is injurious to health. They also found that the deleterious effects of the exposure remain in the body for at least 24 hours, much longer than previously thought:

According to the study, a 30-minute exposure to the level of secondhand smoke that one might normally inhale in an average bar setting was enough to result in blood vessel injury in young and otherwise healthy lifelong nonsmokers. Compounding the injury to the blood vessels themselves, the exposure to smoke impedes the function of the body's natural repair mechanisms that are activated in the face of the blood vessels' injury, the researchers report. Many of these effects persisted 24 hours later.

Study findings are reported in the online edition of the "Journal of the American College of Cardiology," and will appear in the Journal's May 6 print issue.

The results showed that brief exposure to real-world levels of passive smoke have strong and persistent consequences on the body's vascular system ...

Continue reading ....

Posted by Richard at May 6, 2008 11:56 AM

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