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Secondhand smoke can impair breathing within 20 minutes: study

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Researchers from the University of Athens, the Hellenic Cancer Society in Greece, and the Harvard School of Public Health found that after 20 minutes of exposure to highly concentrated secondhand smoke, participants experienced near immediate physiologic changes, including airway resistance and impedance.

"Bars and cars are places where high concentrations of fine particles usually occur because of smoking. Nonsmokers are then forced to inhale extreme amounts of particulates directly into their lungs," said Panagiotis Behrakis from the University of Athens, Greece.

"The observed short-term effects of secondhand smoke tell us that even a short exposure is indeed harmful for normal airways," Behrakis said in a statement.

The study exposed 15 healthy participants to air heavily concentrated with smoke particulates within an exposure chamber

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