New research suggests that young children who have been exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk of developing allergies. Reuters is on it:
Experts have known that exposure to secondhand smoke either prenatally or early in life can raise a child's risk of developing asthma symptoms. But the evidence regarding allergies in general has been mixed.
In the new study, Swedish researchers found that 4-year-olds who had been exposed to parents' smoking during early infancy were at greater risk of allergies to indoor allergens like dust mites and cat dander. They were also at greater risk of food allergies.
It's possible that secondhand smoke triggers inflammation in the lining of young children's airways, which may sensitize them to allergy-triggering substances, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Eva Lannero of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.