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Cigarettes' harm that smoke alarms can't detect

Beyond the hazards of smoking or even inhaling second-hand smoke, residue from cigarette smoke lingering on fabrics and skin causes a quiet, yet pervasive, danger.

A new study has found that children from birth to 13 years of age who were exposed to third-hand smoke from parents who reported that they smoked outside the house showed double the risk of respiratory tract infections, and an even greater incidence of wheezing, than those with parents who didn't smoke.

The findings, which stemmed from an analysis of survey responses by 1,899 families in a region of the Netherlands, were presented at the annual meeting of the European Respiratory Society.

In a MedPage Today article, Ambra Nicolai, MD, a researcher in pediatrics at Sapienza University in Rome, puts the numbers in context. "When people think about harm caused by tobacco they are generally aware of smoking and second-hand smoke. Only recently are we finding that third-hand smoke as well can cause problems," Nicolai said.

Previously: Quitting smoking for the baby you plan to have together, Report shows African-American, low-income children in California at highest risk of secondhand smoke and Study shows smoking bans decrease kids’ exposure to secondhand smoke

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