Tobacco exposures, that include personal tobacco use, secondhand smoke or third hand smoke exposures, are highly prevalent, and there is clear evidence linking human health consequences with tobacco exposures. The U.S. Surgeon General reported scientific evidence demonstrating that there are no safe levels of secondhand smoke exposure, and that tobacco smoke as a known human carcinogen is associated with disease and death in nonsmokers (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006; 2010a). Tobacco smoke exposure is linked to adverse health outcomes, particularly cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Physiological mechanisms underlying smoking-related diseases include DNA damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006; 2010a). The primary addictive component of tobacco is nicotine. Repeated nicotine exposures become associated with daily environmental cues, producing long term changes in dopaminergic signals in the reward/reinforcement brain centers and eventually resulting in addiction (Das, Cherbuin, Anstey, Sachdev, & Easteal, 2012; Siqueira & American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Use and Prevention, 2017).
Anne Turner-Henson, PhD, RN, FAAN
SPN Position Statement Task Force
SPN Board of Directors: 4/22/2020