Secondhand Smoke Affects the Body, Study Says

A study reported in Join Together and The Wall Street Journal found that nonsmokers who breathe in secondhand smoke outside have “elevated levels of tobacco-related chemicals in their body.” Researchers believe that this smoke exposure increases the risks of cancer-causing tobacco agents entering the body.

An increase in outdoor smoking is related with many indoor smoking bans being put into practice at public establishments such as bars and restaurants. The researchers conducted their study outside of a restaurant and bar that bans indoor smoking in Athens, Georgia.

The study involved 28 college students spent time on outside patios where smoking was allowed, and at another open-air site that was for nonsmoking. The students sat near the smokers at the restaurant and bar, counting the number of cigarettes lit every 10 minutes.

University of Georgia’s College of Public Health Science Department of Environmental Health Science researchers collected urine and saliva samples from the students before and after the study. The researchers found that the students who sat among smokers outside had higher levels of cotinine, a nicotine byproduct, in their saliva than the non-smoking site visits. Also, the students’ who sat in the smoking areas had elevated levels of a chemical called NNAL, which is found in tobacco.

To read the entire study, click here.

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