Never-Smoking Teens Exposed to Secondhand Smoke


Recent study by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in cooperation with the Indian Institute of Technology, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa and East Tennessee State University found that many teenagers who never used tobacco are exposed to secondhand smoke.

The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

In their study researchers were examining prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure worldwide among teenagers who had never smoked. In the course of the study they found that teens who never smoked cigarettes are exposed to secondhand smoke at their homes. Besides this, more than two fifths of those adolescents are exposed to secondhand smoke outside the homes.

The author of the study is Phani Veeranki, who is UTMB assistant professor in the department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health. He says we need to protect those young people from exposure to secondhand smoke. Today we have enough data showing negative effects of secondhand smoke, but it is unknown how many teens are exposed to it.

This is the first study which examined the issue globally. It conducted a Global Youth Tobacco Survey in which participated more than 350,000 teenagers from 168 countries from around the world. In the course of the survey there was evaluated the level of secondhand smoke exposure inside and outside teenagers’ homes.

The obtained data demonstrate that 90% of young people who never smoked are aware about negative effects of secondhand smoke. 79% do support smoking bans in public places. However, namely these young people are exposed more to tobacco smoke.

Veeranki says that governments should take into consideration this data and implement smoking bans in their countries. Better way to protect youth from secondhand smoke is to educate their parents about its hazards. Parents should understand that it would never do to smoke in presence of kids.

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