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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7261-7274; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707261

Transgenerational Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke

2, 2
1 and 1,2,*
1 Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM), Barcelona 08003, Spain 2 Paediatric Unit, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona 08003, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 May 2014 / Revised: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
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Traditionally, nicotine from second hand smoke (SHS), active or passive, has been considered the most prevalent substance of abuse used during pregnancy in industrialized countries. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with a variety of health effects, including lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Tobacco is also a major burden to people who do not smoke. As developing individuals, newborns and children are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of SHS. In particular, prenatal ETS has adverse consequences during the entire childhood causing an increased risk of abortion, low birth weight, prematurity and/or nicotine withdrawal syndrome. Over the last years, a decreasing trend in smoking habits during pregnancy has occurred, along with the implementation of laws requiring smoke free public and working places. The decrease in the incidence of prenatal tobacco exposure has usually been assessed using maternal questionnaires. In order to diminish bias in self-reporting, objective biomarkers have been developed to evaluate this exposure. The measurement of nicotine and its main metabolite, cotinine, in non-conventional matrices such as cord blood, breast milk, hair or meconium can be used as a non-invasive measurement of prenatal SMS in newborns. The aim of this review is to highlight the prevalence of ETS (prenatal and postnatal) using biomarkers in non-conventional matrices before and after the implementation of smoke free policies and health effects related to this exposure during foetal and/or postnatal life.
Keywords: environmental tobacco smoke; non-conventional matrices; nicotine; cord blood; free-smoke policies; newborn; children environmental tobacco smoke; non-conventional matrices; nicotine; cord blood; free-smoke policies; newborn; children
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Joya, X.; Manzano, C.; Álvarez, A.-T.; Mercadal, M.; Torres, F.; Salat-Batlle, J.; Garcia-Algar, O. Transgenerational Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 7261-7274.

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