Passive smoking is considered a harmful factor for the health of non-smokers, especially children. A well-known concept, but until now it has remained linked only to ‘traditional’ cigarettes. Now research published in the scientific journal ‘Environmental Pollution’ has highlighted how even ‘heat-not-burn’ (Hnbc) cigarettes, those which heat tobacco without burning it, could negatively influence the cardiovascular health of exposed children and adolescents.
The study, which saw the collaboration between Sapienza University of Rome, Irccs Neuromed of Pozzilli and Mediterranea Cardiocentro of Naples, examined three groups of children and adolescents aged between 2 and 18 years, divided based on exposure to smoke they might have had in the family: not exposed to any type of smoke, exposed to traditional smoke, exposed to heated tobacco smoke. A series of tests, performed on blood samples and instrumental tests, then measured oxidative stress, endothelial function (a key indicator of blood vessel health) and platelet activation (a risk factor for the formation of clots) .
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“The most important data that emerged from our research – say the authors, Lorenzo Loffredo and Anna Maria ZicariSapienza University of Rome, e Roberto Carnevale, Sapienza University of Rome and Irccs Neuromed – is that there are no significant differences between traditional cigarette smoking and heated tobacco smoke. In both cases, the children and adolescents examined had, compared to those not exposed to any type of smoke, higher oxidative stress, greater platelet activation and an alteration of endothelial function and therefore a greater cardiovascular risk. These results – the authors continue – show that even new generation cigarettes, universally considered less harmful than traditional cigarettes, can pose a potential danger to the health of those around smokers, especially younger ones. The final objective must therefore remain that of encouraging the cessation of smoking in all its forms and its surrogates, including zero tolerance towards passive smoking of any type”.
edited by the editorial staff of Cavò – Institute newspaper of the Liceo Cavour in Rome