Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Should Smoking Around Kids Be Illegal?

By Scott Mowbray

When I was a kid, a few years after the surgeon general released the original report linking smoking to vast health risks, my Dad—a doctor!—still smoked a pipe and the occasional cigar. I remember him lighting a stogie during a long drive in the family VW. I remember throwing up. It was an effective counterattack. But it’s not practical in all circumstances.

The most recent news about secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is good; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that “detectable serum cotinine” levels are down across the board in nonsmoking Americans. Serum cotinine is a marker in the blood that signals a nonsmoker’s exposure to secondhand smoke, and if levels go down, disease risk also probably declines with it. The CDC speculated that workplace and public-place smoking bans were the likely cause. Read More

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