Dietary Habits and Secondhand Smoke

Exposure to secondhand smoke appears to increase the risk of heart disease and lung cancer. However, a recent study found other health risks associated with secondhand smoke.

A study published in the June 2002 issue of Preventive Medicine examined whether smokers influence the dietary habits of nonsmokers who live in the same household. The researchers administered questionnaires to 817 adults and allocated them to one of four groups:

The researchers found that dietary intake of the following nutrients decreased progressively from group 1 to group 4: 

The following nutritional markers also became increasingly unfavorable from group 1 to group 4:

This study suggests that in addition to the direct effects of secondhand smoke, nonsmokers living with smokers may also have less healthy dietary habits, further promoting the risk of heart disease and lung cancer. 


1. Trobs M, Renner T, Scherer G, Heller WD, Geiss HC, Wolfram G, Haas GM, Schwandt P. Nutrition, antioxidants, and risk factor profile of nonsmokers, passive smokers and smokers of the Prevention Education Program (PEP) in Nuremberg, Germany. Preventive Medicine. 2002;34:600-7.


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