Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WHO Study on Secondhand Smoke

Last week the World Health Organization (WHO), released a study on the global impact of secondhand smoke. The study found that secondhand smoke causes 600,000 deaths annually across the globe:

Smokers are not only putting themselves at risk, but also 1.8 billion non-smokers. In 2004, 40% of children, 33% of male non-smokers and 35% of female non-smokers were exposed to SHS worldwide. This exposure led to:
379,000 deaths from ischaemic heart disease
165,000 deaths from lower respiratory infections
36,900 deaths from asthma
21,400 deaths from lung cancer

These numbers are staggering and they bring to light the need for smoke free air laws that protect all workers from the harmful impact of secondhand smoke. It also highlights why Indy and Indiana should pass a smoke free air law sooner rather than later because our workers are still being exposed to secondhand smoke.

The WHO study correlates with the study released last year by the Bowen Research Center at the
Department of Family Medicine – IU School of Medicine
, that found "Secondhand smoke costs the residents of Marion County $47.5 million dollars annually in excess medical expenses, or about $54 dollars per person each year."

As 23 states and countless cities have gone smoke free; Why Not Indy?

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