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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Black children may be far more susceptible to the ill effects of second-hand tobacco smoke than their white counterparts, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
In a study of 220 children with asthma, black children who were exposed to at least five cigarettes a day had significantly higher toxin levels in their hair and blood than white children who were exposed to the same amount of smoke.
"For some reason, African-American children may metabolize or break down nicotine ... more slowly than white children," Wilson said in a telephone interview
"It probably generates a lot more questions than it answers about why we see such striking rates of tobacco-associated morbidity (sickness) in African-Americans," he said.