Apart from being bad for lungs, it is found that smoke is also increasing the risk of diabetes.
More than 4,500 Americans were examined and the incidence of glucose intolerance was found related to exposure to tobacco smoke.
After 15 years, the researches have found smokers with the highest risk of glucose intolerance, with 22% of them with the developing condition. 17% of nonsmokers that were exposed to secondhand smoke also developed the condition. Only 12 percent of people who never smoked developed glucose intolerance.
Exposure to secondhand smoke was measured in two ways. One was self reports of being around secondhand smoke. The second was measurements of blood levels of cotinine, a breakdown product of nicotine.
Secondhand smoke could be more dangerous for the pancreas, where insulin is produced, than the fumes inhaled directly by smokers, the researchers said. It is different from, and in many ways more dangerous than, directly inhaled smoke.
If tobacco smoke -- whether secondhand or inhaled directly -- is a risk factor for diabetes, and when you put the two together, you have a really deadly combination.
Dr. Robert Rizza, president of the American Diabetes Association, said the new study provides "one more reason why it is best not to be exposed to passive smoke."
That warning probably applies most urgently to young people, Rizza said. It's possible that there are critical periods in development when toxic substances are more dangerous. So, he added, "the prudent thing is to be sure your children aren't exposed to passive smoke."