Some 42,000 Americans die from secondhand smoke annually: study-A A +A
Friday, September 21, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Secondhand smoke is to blame for some 42,000 nonsmoker deaths annually in the United States, including nearly 900 infant deaths, according to a new University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study.
Altogether, annual deaths from secondhand smoke represent nearly 600,000 years of potential life lost -- an average of 14.2 years per person -- and 6.6 billion U.S. dollars in lost productivity, amounting to 158,000 dollars per death, the researchers say.
The new research, published on Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, reveals that despite public health efforts to reduce tobacco use, secondhand smoke continues to take a grievous toll on nonsmokers.
"In general, fewer people are smoking and many have made lifestyle changes, but our research shows that the impacts of secondhand smoke are nonetheless very large," said lead author Wendy Max, a professor of health economics at the UCSF School of Nursing.
Exposure to secondhand smoke is linked to a number of fatal illnesses including heart and lung disease, as well as conditions affecting newborns such as low birth weight and respiratory distress syndrome. (PNA/Xinhua)