Indoor Smoking Bans – Creating Unhealthy Outdoors?

More and more public places are banning indoor smoking, but what effect is this having on the air just outside the doors ofrestaurants and bars — where smokers congregate? Researchers from the University of Georgia in Athens measured carbon monoxide and small particle levels in these areas. They found a rise in pollutants was associated with an increase in the number of smokers — not cars. Researchers plan to continue their investigation to determine how much secondhand smoke people are exposed to form outdoor smokers. They say, “With more indoor smoking bans, more people seem to be smoking outside. Are we creating zones that are potentially unhealthy? That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

Seeming Healthy Kids Still Affected by Secondhand Smoke

Children of smokers who appear healthy may still be enduring damage to their airways that could lead to lung disease later in life. Researchers from University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands studied 244 children with no history of lung or airway disease and found those whose parents smoked had significantly reduced lung function similar to that seen in smokers. Smoking after birth appeared more harmful than smoking in pregnancy alone. The researchers speculate that the growing number of public place smoking bans might cause parents to smoke more in their own homes, thereby increasing harm to their children.

Marijuana, Cigarettes and Lung Disease

For people who smoke cigarettes, smoking marijuana in addition increases their risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by one-third, say researchers from British Columbia reporting on a new study. Specifically:

Smoking cigarettes put people at a 2.36-times greater risk for respiratory problems than those who didn’t smoke
Smoking both cigarettes and marijuana put people at 18-times the risk of developing COPD

Lung Cancer

Not all Vitamins Protect Against Lung Cancer

Supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry, and one of their supposed benefits is cancer prevention. But in a new study out of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, researchers report adults taking multivitamins, vitamin C and E and folate do not decrease their risk of lung cancer. But on the flip side, no increased risk of lung cancer was associated with the vitamins either. A prior study done in 1996 on supplements of beta-carotene and retinol was halted after they were found to increase lung cancer risk, particularly among smokers.

Source: Ivanhoe News

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