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Clin Chest Med. 2000 Mar;21(1):37-46, vii-viii.

Smoking and pediatric respiratory health.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of California at Davis, School of Medicine, USA.


Many children are exposed to smoking both prenatally and postnatally. Prenatal exposure to mainstream smoke from the mother and even to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) from the mother in utero has been shown to change fetal lung development and cause airflow obstruction and airway hyperresponsiveness. Children exposed to ETS postnatally have more symptoms of cough, wheeze, respiratory illnesses, decreases in lung function, and increases in airway responsiveness. Smoke exposure is associated with the early development of asthma, increased severity of asthma, and the development of allergy. Finally smoke exposure is associated with sudden infant death and airway obstruction. This article reviews the spectrum of effects of cigarette smoke exposure on the respiratory health of infants and children and highlights basic science research exploring the mechanisms of these effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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