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Israeli researchers say toddler nicotine tests could curb parents’ smoking

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Tests showing nicotine levels in the bloodstreams of preschool-age kids could help protect them and help snuff out their parents’ harmful behavior, Israeli researchers say.

Tel Aviv University public health experts are suggesting that policymakers internationally consider the idea of testing preschoolers, after conducting a study that emphasized the extent to which smokers’ kids are subject to secondhand smoke.

While the study found heightened levels of nicotine for most kids of smokers, it also found that just testing the children, without even informing families of the results, was enough to seemingly change parents’ behaviors.

“If children are tested at a young age for nicotine, results could shape parents’ behavior,” Prof. Laura Rosen, who led the 140-family study, told The Times of Israel. “Results showing that a child has nicotine in their body could make parents think once, twice and probably 20 times before smoking around their kids, whether in the house or on the porch.”

Her study, published in a peer-reviewed journal article in May, found that some seven out of 10 participants — children from Israeli households where a parent smokes — had nicotine deep in their hair.

“This is a biomarker which shows the children bear cumulative effects of secondhand smoking,” Rosen said, calling the finding........

© The Times of Israel

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