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CDC Vital Signs and MMR report focuses on second-hand smoke

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs program, launched in 2010, addresses a single, important public health topic each month. The February 2015 Vital Signs edition in English and in Spanish presented CDC’s latest findings on secondhand smoke exposure in the United States. It recommended policies for smokefree multi-unit housing properties to reduce such exposure. 

The February 2015 Vital Signs edition includes the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article, “Disparities in Nonsmokers’ Exposure to Secondhand Smoke—United States, –2012,” which summarizes findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Key points in the Vital Signs edition and MMWR report include:

  •  About 58 million Americans—1 in 4 non-smokers—are still exposed to secondhand smoke. Some population groups are exposed at much higher rates than the population as a whole.
  • Nearly half of black nonsmokers are exposed to SHS, including 7 in 10 black children.
  • About 2 in 5 children (about 15 million) ages 3 to 11 years old are exposed to SHS.
  • More than 2 in 5 nonsmokers who live below the poverty level are exposed to SHS.
  • More than 1 in 3 non-smokers who live in rental housing are exposed to secondhand smoke. There are about 80 million Americans living in multi-unit housing, many of whom rent their housing.

Read the CDC’s February 3, 2015 press release on the February 2015 Vital Signs publication and MMWR report here.

A recently released study in AGE,The Official Journal of the American Aging Association, also showed that more is needed to protect senior citizens from secondhand smoke exposure in the home when regulations not protect them.