Studies show that children are at a significant risk of developing lung conditions from tobacco smoke exposure

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Nottingham has found that children are at least 20% more probable to develop asthma or experience episodes of wheezing if they are subjected to tobacco smoke. This includes before birth or through people smoking in the child’s home after they are born.

A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted by experts at the University of 71 prospective epidemiologic studies which analysed the link between passive smoke exposure and the occurrence of pediatric wheeze and asthma. A lengthy literature search was used that combined Embase, Medline, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, as well as conference abstracts. They managed to find and screen 5074 articles, yielding 70 articles with 71 studies.

Various types of smoke exposure were analysed: paternal smoking, maternal smoking, prenatal maternal smoking and household smoke exposure.  Of the studies, it appeared that prenatal smoking was most harmful, with a 40% increase in risk for wheeze in children aged 2 or younger and an incredible 52% increased risk of wheezing in children aged 5 to 18. In terms of asthma, children aged 2 and younger were most at risk of developing asthma.

The authors commented on their study: “We included all prospective epidemiologic studies assessing the association between passive smoke exposure and incidence of asthma or wheeze in children or young people up to the age of 18 years in which participants were free of disease (asthma or wheeze) at the start of the study and passive smoke exposure was documented at a time point before the incidence of disease was determined”.

All this comes just days after a Norwegian study published in the journal Respirology, concluded that children who were exposed to tobacco smoke are also at risk of developing chronic pulmonary disorder (COPD) in their adult life.

COPD is a term used for numerous conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. These are a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed, thus making it difficult for air to get in or out of the lungs.  Asthma and COPD can exist in the same person. However, in contrast to asthma, the inflammation of the lungs with COPD is not triggered by allergies and does not respond well to anti-inflammatory medication.

In the Norwegian study, 433 COPD patients were quizzed and it was deduced that those children who were exposed to tobacco smoke had almost twice the prospect of actually developing COPD when they were an adult in comparison to those who were not exposed to it. It was noted in the study, “Reduction of childhood environmental tobacco smoke exposure could contribute to the prevention of COPD respiratory symptoms”.

At Medical Specialists Pharmacy we offer a wide range of medications to help asthma sufferers, all at great prices. If you are suffering from asthma like symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately for a diagnosis. Your doctor is able to prescribe medication if he feels you have asthma. If you have already been prescribed an inhaler, have lost your inhaler, or run out and cannot get a prescription immediately, we are able to supply you an inhaler to help your asthma symptoms. We now offer both blue (relievers) inhalers such as Ventolin and Salbutamol, and brown (preventers) inhalers such as Qvar Beclomethasone, Qvar Easi-Breathe, and Pulvinal Beclomethasone.

Not only can we help asthma sufferers, but we can help smokers too! If you are concerned you are putting your child’s health at serious risk from smoking and would like to quit, we provide medication for this. ‘Champix’ mimics the effect of nicotine on the body, reducing the urge to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. It can also decrease the enjoyment you experience of smoking if you are still smoking whilst on the treatment. Studies have shown 44% smokers who used champix on a daily basis where able to quit smoking.

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