Secondhand smoke study shows more than 600,000 killed annually worldwide (The New York Times)
A global study published November 26, 2010 in the British medical journal Lancet estimates that 1% of the world’s deaths can be attributed to secondhand smoke, and 165,000 children younger than 5 years old die each year from lower respiratory infections caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. “Worldwide, children are more heavily exposed to second-hand smoke than any other age-group, and they are not able to avoid the main source of exposure — mainly their close relatives who smoke at home.” (pg. 6) The study concludes that “Voluntary smoke-free home policies reduce exposure of children and adult non-smokers to second-hand smoke, reduce smoking in adults, and seem to reduce smoking in youths.” (pg. 8) The study estimates that 93% of the world population live in countries without smokefree public health policies, and points out that “substantial health gains could be made by extending effective public health and clinical interventions to reduce passive smoking worldwide”. Click here to read a New York Times article about the study, or click here to read the published study.