Nicotine and Preteens

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A new study published in the Oxford journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke can cause symptoms of nicotine dependence in non-smoking preteens. The researchers said that when children are exposed to the same amount of nicotine as adults they absorb higher amounts of nicotine and that “secondhand smoke exposure could possibly trigger addiction in the brain.”

For the study 327 sixty and seventh graders in French-language public schools were asked about their smoking habits, the number of smokers in their circle and the situations where they observed smoking. The researchers found that preteens surrounded by more smokers believed there were greater advantages to smoking and “smoking by parents, siblings, and friends increases risk factors for later smoking. Further research is planned but the researchers said parents should avoid exposing children to second hand smoke.

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