1 in 4 non-smokers still exposed to secondhand smoke in US: Study

1 in 4 non-smokers still exposed to secondhand smoke in US: Study

Secondhand smoke exposure has dropped considerably since 1999, but almost 58 million nonsmokers are still exposed to secondhand smoke. And children, black people, those living in poverty and those living in rental properties are highly exposed to secondhand smoke.

The results have been published this month in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s VitalSigns report. Secondhand smoke exposure in the US declined by half from two to one in nonsmokers between 1999 and 2000 and to one in four nonsmokers between 2011 and 2012.

Two out of five children (15 million kids) are exposed to secondhand smoke. Almost half black nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, together with seven in 10 black children. Over two in five nonsmokers who live below the poverty level are exposed, and over one in three nonsmokers, who reside in rental housing, are exposed.

Secondhand smoke and the chemicals in it lead to sudden infant death syndrome and asthma attacks in children and adults. According to the report, these are also known causes of stroke, heart disease and lung cancer in adult nonsmokers.

As per the report, secondhand smoke exposure leads to death of an estimated 41,000 adult nonsmokers and 400 infants each year.

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