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A new study from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has indicated that infants and young people who are exposed to tobacco smoke may see their metabolism and physiology permanently altered.

The analysis is the first to investigate links between early-life environmental exposures and epigenetic age in children, or the measure of biological age in an individual. The study found that persons exposed to tobacco smoke before birth or in early childhood demonstrated accelerated epigenetic ageing, something that has been linked to a higher risk of metabolic, cardiovascular or neurodegenerative diseases.