Death by Second Hand Smoke

I have not really thought much about this topic in a long time. The area that I live in has enacted laws prohibiting smoking in public places like restaurants and offices. So I was surprised when I read an Associated Press article that began by saying:
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 passive smoking 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.
I am not sure how you reacted to this but I am pretty appalled when I think about the impact on helpless children - the image above turns my stomach. My thinking, that kids are exposed to it in their homes, is somewhat substantiated by this part of the article:
Children whose parents smoke have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, 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.
Hard to know what can be done except possibly educate parents and law makers about the ill effects of second hand smoke on children and other non-smokers. I think that education has been the force that helped create bans on smoking in public places in our area.

What do you think? Are their such laws where you live? Do you think there should be?


  1. All of our eating places are NO SMOKING ~~ with the exception of Bars and Clubs.

    Pretty staggering numbers!!!

    Thankfully our grandchildren are being raised in smoke free homes.

  2. We had the law before Kansas. At first it was a bit of a pain because people were hanging out in doorways smoking so you had to gag your way in but that seems to have settled down. I grew up with smokers and smoked myself but never let my parents smoke around my kids. I have no doubt that smoking is bad second and first hand

  3. The only places here in Texas that I have been in that allow smoking are Applebees and Chilis. We don't go there that often and sit away from it. I also smell it when going into Wal-Mart, sometimes, but that has kind of died down too. The people that smoke, smoke on their way to the cars or away from the doors.

    I agree with you Bob, there needs to be a level of education for parents who smoke. They need to know the effects, if they care.


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