More than 600,000 people killed by 2nd-hand smoke

Nov 26, 2010 By MARIA CHENG , AP Medical Writer
A Saturday, June 2, 2007 file photo shows an anti-smoking activist wearing a gasmask and goggles during a march in Tokyo named "Smoke-Free Walk" as part of their week-long activities since May 31, World No Tobacco Day. Second-hand smoke kills more than 600,000 people worldwide every year, according to a new study. In the first analysis of the global impact of second-hand smoking, researchers analyzed data from 2004 for 192 countries. They found 40 percent of children and more than 30 percent of non-smoking men and women regularly breathe in second-hand smoke. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

(AP) -- Secondhand smoke kills more than 600,000 people worldwide every year, according to a new study.

In the first look at the global impact of secondhand smoking, researchers analyzed data from 2004 for 192 countries. They found 40 percent of children and more than 30 percent of non-smoking men and women regularly breathe in secondhand smoke.

Scientists then estimated that causes about 379,000 deaths from heart disease, 165,000 deaths from lower respiratory disease, 36,900 deaths from asthma and 21,400 deaths from lung cancer a year.

Altogether, those account for about 1 percent of the world's deaths. The study was paid for by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and Bloomberg Philanthropies. It was published Friday in the Lancet.

"This helps us understand the real toll of tobacco," said Armando Peruga, a program manager at the World Health Organization's Tobacco-Free Initiative, who led the study. He said the approximately 603,000 deaths from secondhand smoking should be added to the 5.1 million deaths that smoking itself causes every year.

Peruga said WHO was particularly concerned about the 165,000 children who die of smoke-related respiratory infections, mostly in Southeast Asia and Africa.

"The mix of infectious diseases and secondhand smoke is a deadly combination," Peruga said. Children whose parents smoke have a higher risk of , ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma. Their lungs may also grow more slowly than kids whose parents don't smoke.

Peruga and colleagues found the highest numbers of people exposed to secondhand smoke are in Europe and Asia. The lowest rates of exposure were in the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa.

secondhand smoke had its biggest impact on women, killing about 281,000. In many parts of the world, women are at least 50 percent more likely to be exposed to than men.

While many Western countries have introduced smoking bans in public places, experts said it would be difficult to legislate further.

"I don't think it is likely we will see strong regulations reaching into homes," said Heather Wipfli of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who was not connected to the study. She said more public smoking bans and education might persuade people to quit smoking at home.

In the U.K., the British Lung Foundation is petitioning the government to outlaw smoking in cars.

Helena Shovelton, the foundation's chief executive, said smoking parents frequently underestimate the danger their habit is doing to their children.

"It's almost as if people are in denial," she said. "They absolutely would not do something dangerous like leaving their child in the middle of the road but somehow, smoking in front of them is fine."

Explore further: Slow progress toward meaningful use stage 2

More information: http://www.lancet.com

http://www.who.int/tobacco/en

http://www.lunguk.org

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CarolAST
4 / 5 (8) Nov 26, 2010
The anti-smokers are guilty of flagrant fraud for ignoring more than 50 studies which show that human papillomaviruses cause over ten times more lung cancers than those charlatans pretend are caused by secondhand smoke. Their "studies" are based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires, so they're cynically designed to exploit the fact that smokers and passive smokers are more likely to have been to this virus for socioeconomic reasons.

http://www.smoker...ungc.htm

http://www.smoker...art.html

The anti-smokers have committed this same type of fraud with every disease they blame on tobacco. Spreading lies based on deliberate scientific fraud to scare the public about phony "dangers" of secondhand smoke is an act of terrorism no different in nature from calling in a phony bomb threat. And it's even more morally reprehensible, because it's designed to persecute innocent people and deprive them of their rights to liberty.
Bob_B
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2010
Such crap. Candles kill more people than 2nd-hand smoke, I'm sure, and they are still legal for children to purchase.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2010
"Scientists have identified more than 150 chemicals in marijuana smoke and tar. Marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals such as benzopyrene, which occurs 70 percent more in marijuana smoke than in tobacco smoke. Examinations of human lung tissue exposed to continuous marijuana smoke in laboratory testing show precancerous cellular change. In laboratory tests, the tars from marijuana smoke produce tumors when applied to animal skin. These studies suggest that prolonged marijuana use causes cancer. "
http://atlantarec...rijuana/
Alphakronik
5 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2010
"Scientists have identified more than 150 chemicals in marijuana smoke and tar. Marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals such as benzopyrene, which occurs 70 percent more in marijuana smoke than in tobacco smoke. Examinations of human lung tissue exposed to continuous marijuana smoke in laboratory testing show precancerous cellular change. In laboratory tests, the tars from marijuana smoke produce tumors when applied to animal skin. These studies suggest that prolonged marijuana use causes cancer. "
http://atlantarec...rijuana/

Automobiles kill 1.8million second-hand drivers (passengers) each year.

So a compnay who stands to profit from people quitting marijuana use would say that it is bad for people?

That's some fine reporting there, Lou.
T2Nav
3 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2010
My dad smoked until he died of COPD. My mom still smokes and I'm hesitant to take my new son to visit her unless me can meet someplace clean. Growing up with them was awful, since there's no reasoning with addicts. Since I can't reason with you, the only thing I can say to smokers is this: Prey for lung cancer. At least it might cut down to a few months the suffering that lasts years with COPD.
SgntZim
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2010
Err! T2, the article is about 2nd hand smoke. Can't see the relevance of your comment.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 26, 2010
Why publish such drivel?

The numbers are totally made up and have no relation to anything real.

Show me one, just one, death certificate which lists secondhand smoke as the cause of death.
jonnyboy
2.4 / 5 (8) Nov 26, 2010
stupidest article yet published on PhysOrg (and that is saying something)
StillWind
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 26, 2010
"Scientists have identified more than 150 chemicals in marijuana smoke and tar. Marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals such as benzopyrene, which occurs 70 percent more in marijuana smoke than in tobacco smoke. Examinations of human lung tissue exposed to continuous marijuana smoke in laboratory testing show precancerous cellular change. In laboratory tests, the tars from marijuana smoke produce tumors when applied to animal skin. These studies suggest that prolonged marijuana use causes cancer. "
http://atlantarec...rijuana/


This is a perfect example of a flawed hypothesis. If marijuana was so much more likely to cause cancer, then where are the bodies?
The truth is much more complicated than simple exposure to chemicals.
Arkaleus
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 27, 2010
What ever happened to rational causality? It seems like people are losing the ability to examine causal relationships honestly. Instead of science, we are getting mythology.

You see it worst in the green movement, the arguments for the current wars, and in all nanny-state arguments. Many people seem to be unable to connect events to their effects, so they accept outlandish arguments and extreme behaviors.

That's how mythology works - The truth isn't known or is hidden, so humans invent a miraculous cosmology to explain things. When these myths are changed into laws and social policies, it becomes perversion and madness.
Ulg
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2010
"Scientists have identified more than 150 chemicals in marijuana smoke and tar. Marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals such as benzopyrene, which occurs 70 percent more in marijuana smoke than in tobacco smoke. Examinations of human lung tissue exposed to continuous marijuana smoke in laboratory testing show precancerous cellular change. In laboratory tests, the tars from marijuana smoke produce tumors when applied to animal skin.
http://atlantarec...rijuana/


I could easily argue by that logic that eating a well done cheeseburger once a week is worse then smoking every day for a week. Sorry what tumor suppressants are released by cell in response to tobacco locally to the site of damage? What gene is repaired that must be mutated in 50% of all cancers and 100% of all tumors?

I guess we should remove all the co2 from the atmosphere because co is deadly, and they are so similar right?
dogbert
1 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2010
"I guess we should remove all the co2 from the atmosphere because co is deadly, and they are so similar right?"

The secondhand CO2 is doubtless far more deadly than the primary CO2 ...