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Passive smoking can damage your kid's DNA.

CHILDREN exposed to cigarette smoke passively, damage their DNA, a study has revealed.

It has been shown in a study carried out in Turkey by scientists from the Harran University Medical School and Karadeniz Tecnical University Medical School.

The study also found that more the exposure to passive smoke in terms of number of cigarette, greater the damage to DNA and production of other harmful chemicals.

The study involved 54 children, half of whom were exposed to cigarette smoke and half were not exposed. The scientists measured levels of cotinine, which is a byproduct of nicotine found in cigarettes, DNA damage in the blood cells and levels of a harmful process called oxidation which is initiated by cigarette smoke.

Cigarette smoke inhalation causes cancer.

Various respiratory diseases are found in children, even at low- level exposure to cigarette smoke. It also contains harmful " free radicals" which damage body substances such as lipids, proteins, DNA and carbohydrates by a process called oxidation. DNA damage, specifically, may lead to cancer.

The urine cotinine levels, DNA damage and values of oxidation for the group exposed to cigarette smoke were much higher compared to those in the group not exposed to cigarette smoke, the scientists said. The study is published in the journal Indian Pediatrics . Children exposed to cigarette smoke were further divided into two groups -- 22 children were exposed to one to 10 cigarettes per day while five were exposed to more than 10 cigarettes per day.

DNA damage and indicators of oxidation were much higher in the children exposed to more than 10 cigarettes per day, scientists said. " The findings indicate that the severity of exposure is important," scientists said.

" Second- hand smoke is a significant health problem in children worldwide.

Smoking during pregnancy harms both mother and baby, initially retarding development of baby in the uterus. Various respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis can be seen in children, even at low- level exposure to environmental cigarette smoke," Basu Dev Banerjee and Smita Jain from the University College of Medical Sciences said.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 17, 2012
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