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

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 26, 2010 07:31

 
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LONDON — Second-hand smoke kills more than 600,000 people worldwide every year, according to a new study on Friday.

In the first look at 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.

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. The study was paid for by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and Bloomberg Philanthropies. It was published Friday in the British medical journal Lancet.

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