Children exposed to smoke may be prone to bladder cancer later in life, says a new study.
Naomi Allen of Oxford University and other British researchers analysed data of about 430,000 people across Britain and found that people who smoked before the age of 15 were three times more likely to get bladder cancer later in life, reported the online edition of BBC News.
Previous research has shown that there is a strong link between smoking and bladder cancer - a disease that kills over 4,800 people in Britain each year. Overall, smokers are four times more likely to develop bladder cancer.
But this study found that those exposed to second-hand smoke in childhood were also almost 40 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer.
"The body of evidence suggests that children are more sensitive to carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) than adults," said the study that appeared in the International Journal of Cancer.
"This adds to the growing body of evidence that children and adolescents may be even more vulnerable to the harmful effects of tobacco smoke than adults," it added.
Said John Toy, medical director of Cancer Research UK: "Although more research is needed to confirm the seeming effects of childhood exposure to second-hand smoke, the study's findings support the health value of the smoking ban in public places."