GENOA, Italy, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- People who have a health risk from smoking have an additional risk from breathing environmental tobacco smoke -- secondhand smoke -- researchers in Italy found.
Maria Teresa Piccardo, Anna Stella and Federico Valerio of the National Cancer Research Institute in Genoa, Italy, studied the exposure of newsagents in the city to harmful cigarette smoke.
"Newsagents were chosen because they work alone in small newsstands, meaning that any tobacco smoke in the air they breathe is strictly correlated to the number of cigarettes smoked by that newsagent," Piccardo said in a statement. "We studied the contribution environmental tobacco smoke made to carcinogen exposure in 15 active smokers."
The study, published in Environmental Health, found environmental tobacco smoke may have a significant impact on smokers' health. For someone who smokes 14 cigarettes a day, one's own secondhand smoke resulted in exposure the equivalent of smoking an extra 2.6 cigarettes.
"Both active and passive smoking contributions should always be considered in studies about health of active smokers," Piccardo said.