Second-hand smoke may lead to smoking as teens
By Sheryl Ubelacker
TORONTO (CP) - Absorbing nicotine from second-hand smoke in the home may make children physically more susceptible to getting hooked on cigarettes when they become adolescents, a Canadian study suggests.
The study of almost 200 Montreal school children found that the presence of a nicotine-related substance called cotinine in their saliva was a significant predictor of kids going on to become smokers in their teens. In fact, children with an elevated cotinine level were twice as likely to become adolescent tobacco users than kids without the tell-tale chemical.
Childhood predictors of smoking in adolescence: a follow-up study of Montréal schoolchildren
Margaret R. Becklake, Heberto Ghezzo, and Pierre Ernst
CMAJ 2005 173: 377-379; doi:10.1503/cmaj.1041428