Research performed in Finland shows that children who grow up in households with parents who smoke cigarettes are four times as likely to develop heart disease later in life, according to the Daily Mail.
Scientists measured the level of cotinine, a biomarker that indicates the continued presence of secondhand smoke, and found only 43 percent of children who come from homes where both parents smoke had undetectable levels in their blood samples.
That is compared to the 84 percent of children with undetectable levels who come from smoke-free homes.
Secondhand smoke has already been linked to a number of fatal diseases, such as lung cancer, heart attacks and pneumonia, resulting in thousands of hospital visits a year.
That's exactly why some doctors are now saying introducing children to cigarettes with secondhand smoke in the home should be legally considered child abuse.
Dr. Adam Goldstein, who is director of the tobacco intervention programs at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, tells the DailyMail,
These findings confirm previous studies, which link childhood secondhand smoke exposure to negative lasting effects on cardiovascular health and endurance.