Even as India bans smoking in public places from October 2, a Canadian study has warned that parents who smoke in the presence of their kids in cars and homes might end up fostering nicotine dependence symptoms in them.
In the light of their findings on the consequences of second-hand smoke, the researchers from various universities in Quebec province have stressed the importance of a ban on smoking in the presence of children in vehicles.
Jennifer O'Loughlin, a researcher and professor at Montreal University's department of social and preventive medicine, said, ``Increased exposure to second-hand smoke, both in cars and homes, was associated with an increased likelihood of children reporting nicotine dependence symptoms, even though these children had never smoked.
"These findings support the need for public health interventions that promote non-smoking in the presence of children, and uphold policies to restrict smoking in vehicles when children are present.''
She said their findings confirm previous findings which said that exposure to second-hand smoke might lead to several nicotine withdrawal symptoms, depressed mood, trouble sleeping, irritability, anxiety, restlessness, trouble concentrating and increased appetite among non-smokers.
As part of their study, the researchers chose 1,800 children aged 10 to 12 and asked them to fill questionnaires on their health and behavior, including exposure to second-hand smoke and symptoms of nicotine dependence.
Said lead researcher Mathieu Belanger, "According to conventional understanding, a person who does not smoke cannot experience nicotine dependence.(but) our study found that 5 per cent of children who had never smoked a cigarette, but who were exposed to second-hand smoke in cars or their homes, reported symptoms of nicotine dependence."
The findings have been published in the September edition of the Canadian journal Addictive Behaviors.