It has long been known that smoking increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, and for people who already have the disease, it increases the rate of progression to disability. What was unclear was whether environmental smoke in situations where other people smoke raises the risk of people in that environment developing the disease.
This study confirms that this passive smoking, for example by children in families where a parent smokes, raises the risk of developing MS by about 30%. For those of us with MS, there are very good reasons not to smoke so as to minimise the risk of progression of the illness. Now there are even more compelling reasons. We know that our children are already at considerably higher risk than the rest of the population of developing MS; it is extremely important that adults in the house do not smoke so as not to raise the risk even further.
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