It has been known for a long time that smoking is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart attacks and emphysema. A new study has highlighted that smoker's children harbor high levels of Streptococcus pneumonia, a bacteria that can cause pneumonia, sinusitis and meningitis.
Nothing, not even a hike in the cigarette price, ban on smoking seems to help people quit smoking. Let us hope that this study at least helps people quit smoking. The results of this interesting study can be found in the latest issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Children are more likely than adults to carry the bacteria in their nose and throat. Bacterial growth and colonization can lead to minor ailments such as ear infections and other severe diseases. The researchers analyzed the samples obtained from over 200 children. The samples were then analyzed for the amount of bacteria it contained. Alarmingly, 76% of the children exposed to smoke were found to carry the pathogen in their nose and throat compared to a 60% among the non-exposed group.
Furthermore, children exposed to smoke were more likely to carry a more dangerous form of the pathogen, responsible for causing S. pneumoniae disease. The same effect was also observed in mothers who smoked and the control group (32% Vs 12%) respectively.
Those who carry high amount of bacteria are more likely to face an increased risk of infection. The results of the study are consistent with the fact that smoking, either active or passive leads to a higher incidence of respiratory diseases.
The researchers urge parents to stop smoking, atleast when children are around. This strategy would be more valuable if the child is prone to asthma or other respiratory diseases. Smoking parents, specifically mothers have been cautioned about smoking and its disastrous consequences on the health of the child.