PASSIVE SMOKING: It even rots your teeth

We all noted with interest the tobacco industry-sponsored research of the other week that concluded that passive smoking was not, after all, harmful.

Unfortunately, when independent research is carried out, all the bad news about the usual dangers of passive smoking gets an airing, and with interest.

The latest research adds another nasty to the teetering pile – passive smoking can rot children’s teeth. It could be the reason why children from poor families get more bad teeth than those from affluent families, the researchers believe.

When they examined a group of 3,531 children aged from 4 to 11, they found that 53 per cent of those with fillings or dental decay also had high levels of cotinine, a nicotine derivative, in their blood.

As a result, they reckon that passive smoking is responsible for up to 27 per cent of tooth decay in children.

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003; 289: 1258-64).

* But it’s not all bad news for smokers (even if their kids don’t have any teeth). Research suggests that smokers, and people who drink coffee, are less likely to develop Parkinson’s. If you smoke, you’re 60 per cent less likely to get Parkinson’s, and you reduce your chances by 30 per cent if you’re a coffee drinker.

But both could also be a lifestyle indicator. Parkinson’s victims tend to be less open to new ideas, are inflexible and cautious. Whatever, it’s a piece of news the tobacco industry is bound to latch onto.

(Source: British Medical Journal, 2003; 326: 561-2).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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