Kids Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Tobacco Smoke

Some kids who were born in the mid of 20th century remember  riding in the car while mother and father smoked cigarettes or running behind DDT trucks, or even playing with thermometer. Though it seemed to be funny and safe, many boomers may wonder these days whether these activities could have had any serious health impacts on them.

Dr. William J. Hall, a professor of medicine at the University of Rochester and director of the Highland Hospital Center for Healthy Aging, says that all of us were exposed to many potentially hazardous chemicals, especially those who grew up in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. These were times of industrial growth after World War II and there was no control and restrictions.

The exposure to mercury, secondhand smoke, and DDT may be connected to an increased risk for a number of health problems such as cancers and neurological disorders. However, there is little data available to study health consequences of these exposures for adults born between 1946 to 1964.

According to Christian Warren, an associate professor of history at Brooklyn College and historian of modern American public health, they are the first generation that comes around in the post-epidemiological revolution years. Before the ‘60s, most public health attention was concentrated on infectious and acute diseases. The situation was changed when in 1964 appeared Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. He was the first who told about negative effects of tobacco use. For the first time in history there were analyzed the effects of disease at a population level.

In the 1950s it was cool to smoke, and 50% of males and 30% of females smoked. After the 1964 Surgeon General report, smoking rates among men began to fall immediately The baby boom really occured in years when there were reported highest smoking rates in the USA, therefore the majority of children were probably exposed.

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