This second-hand can kill

It’s morbid but it should be a wake-up call.

In 192 countries around the world 165,000 children die from second-hand smoke, and two-thirds of that number die in South Asia and Africa. Most of these children are exposed to passive smoking in their own homes. Children are more heavily exposed to second-hand smoke than any other age group, but overall 600,000 people die every year.

This is what Annette Pruss-Ustun and other researchers have found in the first global study completed by the World Health Organization.

The effects of passive smoking in children are an increased risk for developing respiratory conditions and weaker lungs. The effect on adults can be equally devastating with greater number of deaths due to heart disease, respiratory infections, asthma and lung cancer in that order.

Less than 8%of the world population currently lives in places with comprehensive smoke-free laws, and those laws are not always strictly enforced. But research has shown that where laws are strictly adhered to, exposure to second-hand smoke can be cut by 60%, and in high risk places like bars and restaurants to as much as 90%.

 

 

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