Heat-not-burn cigarette passive smoking may affect children's health

An Italian collaboration between Sapienza University of Rome, I.R.C.S. Neuromed and Mediterranea Cardiocentro, highlights the effects on the cardiovascular system of passive smoking from heat-not-burn cigarettes

Passive smoking is considered harmful to non-smoking people, especially children. A well-known concept, but until now only associated with 'traditional' cigarettes. Now, research published in the journal Environmental Pollution has shown that even 'heat-not-burn' (HNBC) cigarettes, which heat the tobacco without burning it, could adversely affect the cardiovascular health of exposed children and adolescents.

The study, which involved a collaboration between Sapienza University of Rome, I.R.C.S. Neuromed of Pozzilli, Isernia, and Mediterranea Cardiocentro of Naples, examined three groups of children and adolescents aged between 2 and 18 years, divided according to the exposure to smoke they might have had in their families: not exposed to any type of smoke, exposed to traditional smoke, exposed to heated tobacco smoke. A series of tests, performed on blood samples and instrumental tests, then measured oxidative stress, endothelial function (a key indicator of blood vessel health) and platelet activation (a risk factor for thrombus formation).

"The most important finding to emerge from our research," say the authors, Lorenzo Loffredo and Anna Maria Zicari of Sapienza University of Rome, and Roberto Carnevale of Sapienza University of Rome and I.R.C.S. Neuromed, "is that there are no significant differences between traditional cigarette smoking and smoking from heated tobacco. In both cases, the children and adolescents examined had higher oxidative stress, increased platelet activation and altered endothelial function, and thus a higher cardiovascular risk, compared to those not exposed to any type of smoke".

"These results," the authors continue, "show that even the new generation of cigarettes, which are universally regarded as less harmful than traditional cigarettes, can be a potential health hazard for smokers, especially younger smokers. The ultimate goal must therefore remain the encouragement of smoking cessation in all its forms and substitutes, including zero tolerance of passive smoking of any kind".




Children smoke prevention group*. Impact of heat-not-burn cigarette passive smoking on children's oxidative stress, endothelial and platelet function - Loffredo L, Carnevale R, Pannunzio A, Cinicola BL, Palumbo IM, Bartimoccia S, Nocella C, Cammisotto V, Violi F, Biondi-Zoccai G, Frati G, Zicari AM - Environ Pollut. 2024. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2024.123304



Further Information

Anna Maria Zicari
Maternal Infantile and Urological Sciences

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

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