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Passive Smoking Responsible For One Percent Of Deaths, Report

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Passive Smoking Responsible For One Percent Of Deaths, Report

Auckland, Nov 26 NZPA - One percent of deaths globally are caused by passive smoking, according to a new study.

The University of Auckland's Professor Alistair Woodward, co-author of the study in medical journal The Lancet, said the world's 1.2 billion smokers were harming billions of non-smokers, and it was children who suffered most.

The authors, who gathered information from 192 countries, estimated 40 percent of the world's children, 33 percent of male non-smokers, and 35 percent of female non-smokers were regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in 2004.

In total, 603,000 deaths were attributable to second-hand smoke. Forty-seven percent of those deaths occurred in women, 28 percent in children, and 26 percent in men.

"Passive smoking is a global health issue," Prof Woodward said.

"We have made great progress in New Zealand and many other high income countries. But billions of people are still exposed, needlessly, to second-hand smoke.

"This paper puts a figure on the cost, globally, in premature deaths and loss of good health. We hope our findings will spur policy-makers to take action."

The authors recommended the immediate enforcement of the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and the implementation of further educational strategies. They also wanted to dispel the myth that developing countries could wait to deal with tobacco-related diseased until they had dealt with infectious diseases.

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