School children to be tested on smoking

| February 19, 2013

Russia’s Ministry of Health has approved new rules that will require all school children over 10 years of age to undergo annual blood and breath tests to determine whether or not they have been smoking, according to an Izvestia story.

The examination program will include also ultrasound testing of the liver, kidneys, heart and thyroid; and, for those 14 years of age and older, hormone tests and ultrasound testing of the reproductive organs.

The story said that the children would be tested for smoking through blood analysis and ‘smokerlyzer’ tests. ‘The tests will identify carboxyhemoglobin and carbon monoxide, both by-products of smoking,’ it added.

But the efficacy of the testing methods has been called into question already. Testing, it is said, will be able to tell only whether a child has been smoking just before the test is carried out, and it will not tell the difference between smoking and passive smoking.

Additionally, the smokerlyzer test has been criticized because it reveals only a positive or a negative result and shows no error rate.

Category: Breaking News

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