According to the recent study, non-smoking individuals who sit in cars with people who smoke, inhale some of the same cancer-causing substances along with other harmful toxins.
However, it isn’t obvious what this signifies for the health of non-smokers, the scientists stated.
Dr. Neal Benowitz, study senior investigator and a of medicine and bio-engineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a university news release, “This seems to be the first ever research to determine contact to these harmful toxins in people exposed to secondhand smoke.”
He further added, “This signifies that while sitting in cars with people who smoke, non-smokers inhale a number of potentially harmful compounds from cigarettes, which are linked with cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung disease.”
For this study, the scientists examined the urine of 14 individuals who sat in the back seat of the parked vehicle while the driver smoked three cigarettes over an hour or so. The vehicle windows were open about 4 inches.
Benowitz said in the news release that the urine tests showed that the non-smokers blood contains high level of several harmful toxins “believed to be the most vital amongst 1000s in tobacco smoke that cause smoke-related disease.”
Gideon St. Helen, the lead author of the study said, “This informs us that individuals, especially children and grown ups with pre-existing health problems such as asthma or cardiovascular disease, ought to be protected against secondhand smoke exposure in cars.”
However, the study author added, that cars were not moving, so we are not obvious that what will happen when cars move and air flow could draw out the smoke.
St. Helen stated, “Nevertheless, the air samples we took were similar in makeup to those seen in previous smoking studies that used closed cars and cars with different ventilation systems in operation. And thus we feel that the general levels of risk to non-smokers that we present is realistic.”
The study is published in issue of Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, on 14th Novemeber.