NIDA Logo The development of NAFLD due to exposure to secondhand smoke may be known to many. Well, here is an investigation that highlights the probable impact of secondhand smoke on the brain. A groundbreaking study claims that exposure to moderate levels of secondhand smoke delivers nicotine to the brain. This smoke seemingly evokes cravings among smokers as well.

While conducting the study, investigators utilized PET and revealed that one hour of secondhand smoke in an enclosed space reaches enough nicotine to the brain to bind receptors that are normally targeted by direct exposure to tobacco smoke. This disruption presumably occurs in the brain of both smokers as well as non-smokers. Additionally, investigations have previously affirmed that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the likelihood that children will become teenage smokers and makes it more difficult for adult smokers to quit. Hence, it can be presumed that secondhand smoke acts on the brain to promote smoking behavior.

In this study, it is suggested that even limited secondhand smoke exposure delivers enough nicotine to the brain to alter its function. NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. and colleagues predict that chronic or severe exposure can lead to higher brain nicotine levels. Therefore, it can be concluded that secondhand smoke exposure may raise vulnerability to nicotine addiction.

The study is published in Archives of General Psychiatry.