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Rev Environ Health. 2012;27(2-3):75-84. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2012-0007.

Can nutrition lessen the effects of secondhand smoke exposure among children?

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Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681, USA.


Reducing harm from secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is especially critical for children. Current strategies aimed at reducing SHS exposure in workplaces and public spaces have been successful in reducing adult exposure, yet infants and children, who are greatly susceptible to the adverse health effects of SHS exposure, continue to be among the most exposed in the USA. Novel strategies are needed that can work in combination with those aimed at removing SHS exposure from children, our single highest priority. The overall aim of this monograph is to demonstrate how nutrition has the potential to ameliorate adverse SHS-related outcomes in children. This aim is accomplished by providing evidence for the following: susceptibility to SHS exposure is greatest during critical windows of lung and immune system development; dietary factors act on SHS mechanisms and have the potential to reduce the risk of related adverse outcomes; the key mechanisms of adverse SHS-related outcomes include reduced nutrient status, oxidative stress, compromised immune function, and chronic inflammation; identification of nutrition-related interventions for SHS-exposed populations is a timely issue and requires future research. Our primary aim should be to eliminate SHS exposure. Until infants and children are no longer exposed to SHS, however, we propose investigating nutrition-focused interventions as a method to reduce the risk of SHS-related health outcomes for infants and children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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