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Secondhand smoke kills 600,000 worldwide annually
November 26th, 2010
09:08 AM ET

Secondhand smoke kills 600,000 worldwide annually

1 in 100 people around the world die from secondhand smoke each year, a new study reveals, and nearly two-thirds of the deaths occur in children.

Health officials have known that more than 1 billion people around the world smoke and 5 million people die each year from tobacco-related illness, according to the World Health Organization.  That's about one person dying every six seconds.

But just how many people are sickened by secondhand smoke has been less clear, which led researchers to try to investigate how big the problem is. Based on 2004 data gathered from 192 countries, researchers estimate "as many as 40 percent of children, 35 percent of women, and 33 percent of men are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke indoors," according to a WHO study published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

"Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced," says the WHO.  More than 80 percent of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest. The study authors estimate that 165,000 children under the age of 5 die each year from lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke – and most of these deaths occur in Africa and south Asia.

Just two months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  released a report that found more than half of children in the United States, between ages 3 and 11 show signs in their blood of exposure to secondhand smoke.  Previous studies have found that even extremely low levels of exposure to cigarette smoke produced detectable abnormal genetic activity in these cells.

The more than 1 billion smokers are exposing billions of non-smokers to one of the top indoor pollutants according to the WHO. Researchers believe more needs to be done to create complete smoke-free indoor environments at work, in public places and on public transportation. Jonathan Samet and Heather Wipfli, two leading public health experts from the University of Southern California say their research from 31 countries found  that 88 percent of parents who smoked did so at home and that over 80 percent smoked near their children. In an accompanying commentary, they emphasize the need for smoke-free homes, which can help  lower the number of people sickened and dying from someone else's smoke.

Wipfli and Samet say educating and empowering women can make a big difference is protecting children and non-smoking adults from the deadly effects of secondhand smoke. "Few sources of indoor air pollution can be completely eliminated.   However, smoking indoors can be eliminated," they say.


soundoff (428 Responses)
  1. Lacey and me

    I hope several people start smoking in the CNN newsroom, the resulting reduction in liberals will help the country immensly.

    November 26, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • millie fink

      What?

      CNN is mainstream, corporate media. IOW, it's "conservative."

      Just because it's not as far to the Right as Fixed News doesn't mean it's not still on the Right.

      November 26, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
  2. Viper1j

    Explain George Burns

    November 26, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Robert

    This is a biased article.

    Look at the sentence structure of the first paragraph it's meant to shock you with the first sentence, that 600,000 people DIE every year from second hand smoke.. Then you get the supporting statement of "a new study reveals". I'd love to see some of the supporting information and who funded the study. and some statistics behind that so I can make up my mind if I feel its true. If you followed the money, it most likely leads an anti smoking group.

    What ever happened to presenting the facts and letting the reader decide how to decide?

    I'm not a smoker.

    November 26, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doug

      The provide a link to the study (which was published in Lancet). If you are interested in the details, click on the link and read it.

      November 26, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
  4. shirley

    this is good. they keep you focused on ciggarettes so you won't look at the garbage that is in the air smog which contains far more pollutants than tobacco and the garbage under your feet.

    November 26, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. oldcollegecoed

    For all the naysayers out there, in 2002 when I was 45 years old I became extremely weak; I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to catch my breath, I couldn't bend over and put on a pair of socks or tie my shoes, and a shower exhausted me. And no, I was not overweight! Then I caught a terrible case of bronchitis which went into pneumonia and back again, 5 times. I was tested for every illness my doctors could think of; everything checked out. It wasn't until I was rushed to my doctor's office during one of my many breathing attacks, that the doctor had an idea. I was rolled from her office, adjacent to the hospital, into the hospital and underwent extensive lung tests. And what did they reveal...COPD! When the doctor came into the room to tell me the results, she was furious. "Why didn't you ever tell me you smoked?" she demanded. And I replied that I'd never smoked a cigarette in my life. I don't think she believed me, because she proceeded to tell me what COPD was and how MOST people acquired it...smoking! Luckily my husband was there, and he too explained that neither one of us were smokers. Well...it seems that I am one of the 2% (and climbing) non-smokers who acquire COPD as a result of secondhand smoke. And finally, as debilitating as the diagnosis was, at least I understood what was wrong with me. And with the appropriate medication, I got much better. However, I continued to have severe flare-ups for years, because I worked in a building where smoking was allowed. It wasn't until I changed jobs and moved away from the smoke, that I finally got much better. Most of my symptoms have gone away, but I still have the illness. Don't for one minute tell me that this illness is from food additives, or any other pathetic excuse. I'm sick because I grew up in a smoking household, worked in buildings were smoking was allowed, and ate in smoking restaurants. That's the ONLY reason I'm sick. And, try to get insurance with a COPD diagnosis! I understand that my parents grew up in an era when the health risks of smoking where not known, but at this point, anyone who smokes has a death wish for him/herself and anyone they come in contact with, including their children!

    November 26, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Real Scientist

      15% of people who actively smoke get COPD. Claiming you got COPD solely from being exposed to second-hand smoke is stretching believability – especially since it is literally impossible for a doctor to say definitively that second-hand smoke is the sole cause. You can get COPD with absolutely zero exposure to tobacco smoke. Simply living in a dusty environment can result in COPD. Second-hand smoke is no different than any other airborne pollutants, especially heavier particle pollutants like soots, in terms of causing COPD. For all you know, you have genetic predisposition for it.

      Hardly a reason to excuse this bad study and the bad news coverage of it.

      November 26, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
  6. dkhhuey

    Smoking is a disgusting, vile, repulsive habit that is not only dangerous to those lighting up, but to those around them. It most certainly is a huge killer of human beings. Whether or not you believe the number is another point entirely. For context, I smoked for 20 years but haven't touched a cig for the last 15 years and no, I am not a 'born again smoking nazi". You cannot deny that inhaling smoke is dangerous to our internal system and continued exposure to it will have long term impacts. Having said that, I cannot sit here and point the finger solely at cig smoking as the main and only culprit. Our cars and belch out a huge amount of pollution, and the oil we harvest and consume is guilty as well. Soul-less corporations pollute and contaminate anything and everything they can in search of profits. There are just too many other outside factors at play here for me to buy into the whole 2nd hand smoke at fault

    November 26, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Valentin

    1% of 6 billion people die of second hand smoke every year while 5 million die of ALL tobacco related illnesses? Somebody must hire a fact checker before publishing anything. These guys would get killed in court if they show up with made up numbers like this. Half-baked studies like and opinion pieces like this do a disservice to such an important question.

    November 26, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Furnatic

    I'm so sick of these anti-smoking campaigns! Oh smoking is horrible for you! Well duh! I AM a smoker, but never once did I think that breathing fire into my lungs was a healthy thing.

    You going to give everyone around you cancer!
    Guess what? I have the decency NOT to smoke near others. I go outside, wait for a couple minutes after I finsh for the smoke to be emptied from my lungs. It's not a matter of weather someone smokes or not. It's a matter of smoking close to everyone else.
    Every relative in my family lived passed the age of 70 despite being a smoker or not a smoker. This is one of those propaganda moves, just like those old commericals that turned potheads into murders. If any group should be focused on, it should be the alcohol industry. Yes I do drink, but you see alcohol so glamorized, yet I can't even see a cigarette ad in a magazine anymore.

    November 26, 2010 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Seabass1

      If I walk into a bar , there are not 20 or 30 people immediatley shoving beer down my neck , can't say the same for smoking in a closed establishment . As soon as you walk in you are forced to breath in the toxic smoke . My hair and clothes stink from the smoke , my eyes and throat burn from the smoke , when I walk out I stink like a smoker , although I don't smoke . Yep , it don't effect anybody else right??? Get real !

      November 26, 2010 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • Furnatic

      @Seabass1

      But at the same time, it's a bar. It's supposed to be a den of "sin". A place where we can do things that would be a bit more taboo, like get wasted, and smoke. That's like walking into a smoke shop and complaining about the smokers in the smoke shop. If I don't want to deal with children at Disney World, I simply do not go. Same thing with a bar. If you do not want to deal with smokers in a bar, simply do not go. Don't force everyone else to leave because you can't stand the thought of taking a shower, and washing your clothes after. Not to mention there are far worse things than cigarettes that can kill you. Unless someone directly blows smoke into your face, you won't die.

      November 26, 2010 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
  9. Dr. Richards

    How many animals do you see going around with a cigarette, cigar or pipe in their mouths or a wad of chewing tobacco behind their lip, if they have lips? Just goes to show "dumb animals" aren't as dumb as dumb humans!

    November 26, 2010 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Melrinxo40

    I was reared in a smoking household during the 50's – 60's and both parents smoked. I'm a non-smoker, but the smell was always offensive to me and from the time I was young I questioned the logic of placing something in your mouth and setting on fire. Once our first daughter was born, my parents quit smoking. That was 27 years ago. My mother died of lung cancer and emphysema three years ago. We would avoid taking our children to places where smoke was prevalent during their childhood. I avoid telling folks what they should do to themselves as this is a free country, however, I expect not having to be subjected to their indulgences whenever it invades my personal space. My mother would be happy to discuss the benefits of avoiding the use of tobacco products, but then she isn't able to do that now, is she?

    November 26, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Seabass1

      I hear you , great comment , and true !!!!

      November 26, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
  11. jonnyposter

    I am more afraid of dying of a drunk driver, a mugger, a random infection, a lunatic on the street, a brick falling on my head. These are much bigger threats than either second hand smoke, or terrorism.

    November 26, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • THIS IS NOT AN ARGUMENT

      You are a complete IDIOT. Comparing one bad thing to another bad thing does not make the FIRST THING SUDDENLY GOOD! Are you really this stupid? I hope you get shot in the face because you are a worthless piece of crap.

      November 26, 2010 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
  12. barlennan

    Just saw a CNN anchor person breathlessly presenting this '1 in a 100 people dying ' statement. Apparently no one in the CNN organization actually can fathom numbers more than 10 (maybe 20, if they don't wear socks).

    November 26, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mattie

    What about car exhaust? Why do I, as a non-driver, have to put up with all the secondhand fumes while I walk down the street? You are all putting my health in jeopardy just for convenience's sake. But nobody cares about that because auto exhaust is fine to breathe!!

    November 26, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Seabass1

    All the years of kids being exsposed to second hand smoke is being realized now . Why such a rise in death numbers??? Because it takes a while for the poison and chemicals to do their work . I am a non-smoker , my Mom smoked for years , till she destroyed her lungs and now has COPD and is on oxygen . She cannot walk to the mailbox with out being completely out of breath . I am extremely sensitive to Hydrogen Cianide , Rat Poison , one of the most ubandant chemicals in cigarette smoke . It will make me bedridden for at least a day if I am exposed to smoke . Imagine , I am sensitive to POISON !!! Good God , to all smokers , this is not a war against you , it is a war against the use of a product that kills over half the people who use it . some of which are innocent kids , whose parents smoke , this is a no brainer , really . Smoking kills , plain and simple !!!!

    November 26, 2010 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jonnyposter

      And that is only one of 200 other poisons known to make up cigarette smoke. The 2 most prevelant of those poisons are Benzene, the most carcinagenic chemical known to man, and the other is CO (Carbon monoxide) which is why, when someone is smoking, there is 7% less oxygen going to that person's brain. So I am glad we banned the stuff from public enclosed spaces here in the US.

      November 26, 2010 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
  15. Actaeon

    I applaud the message, have grave doubts about the methodology. Guesstimates about how many die from second hand smoke are are statistically worthless. This sort of well-intentioned health news gives science
    a bad name.

    November 26, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. brent

    at least smokers get a filter out of the deal, 2nd hand smoke...not so much...

    November 26, 2010 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Seabass1

      One of many all too real facts , thank you for posting that !!!!

      November 26, 2010 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
  17. chris

    Can you say industrial age. Some day we will all die of cancer.

    November 26, 2010 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. bruceben

    if you believe this, i have a bridge for you. total b.s.

    November 26, 2010 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Odalice Yolanda Feliz

    we need to do something about this..... STOP SMOKING.

    November 26, 2010 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Hy

    What a crock! Bad science, poor research, all to push an agenda.

    November 26, 2010 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Anna

    I grew up in a family in which everyone smoked. My parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle. I have a cousin whose parents smoked inside the home. His mother also smoked while pregnant with him. He has had severe asthma since he was an baby. He can't do anything. He can't get too hot, he can't play sports. He has to take medication. He's been to the hosptial because he couldn't breath many times. He could die from his asthma if he isn't careful. And what is the cause of his affliction.....secondhand smoke. And what absolutely kills me is they all still smoke around him.

    November 26, 2010 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Bill W

    I would like to know how the researchers decided that the one 1 in 100 who die are killed by second hand smoke?
    If someone dies from cancer, a heart attack, a kidney problem, liver failure etc. how does one decide it is from second hand smoke?

    November 26, 2010 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. gphx

    This makes me laugh. People go on and on about second hand smoke (which is usually outdoors due to recent laws) meanwhile hundreds of cars drive by and probably millions of people die annually from smog. If you don't like smoking stop driving or shut up please.

    November 26, 2010 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Chris

    I am one of the statistics, not dead yet, but I have emphesma and have never smoked. My mother did smoke heavily and did die of lung cancer. The people who are ill and dying now are all the ones exposed to second hand smoke for all the years before the bans on indoor smoking and before the addictive effect of tobacco was really known outside of the Tobacco Industry.

    November 26, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Josh

    For those interested, BBC world news' website has an article about this as well that is much less biased and much more informative. It mentions both strengths and weaknesses of the study.

    November 26, 2010 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. notmyrealname

    Do any of you decrying the conclusions of this study or the information in this article really think that breathing second-hand smoke is GOOD FOR YOU???

    Come on. Get a clue.

    November 26, 2010 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. memine

    HEY smokers you fricken STINK! If everytime I smelled some nasty cig smoke and I sprayed them with Febreeze would that be ok?

    November 26, 2010 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • millie fink

      Hmm.

      Maybe, but I think farting on them might get the point across more effectively. After all, that's basically what they're doing to me.

      November 27, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  28. Abbyka

    I wish there were places smokers could go(like a building OUTSIDE of the mall/store/whatever) so that I don't have to suffer. I am severely allergic to smoke, they give me debilitating migraines. I usually have to drive around the mall several times before I can park because, it never fails, someone is smoking outside of the entrance! Just because it's outside doesn't mean I won't smell it. These smokers usually gather in a tight crowd as close to the door as possible, which doesn't leave room for much "airing out" of the cloud of smoke. I also have rude smokers in my apartment building that will light up just before leaving the building despite repeatedly being told by management NOT TO DO THAT. Some smokers are considerate, especially when I tell them I'm allergic. But some are just downright rude.

    November 26, 2010 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Mark

    IF secondhand smoke is so deadly, why aren't actual smokers (firsthand) dropping like flies? You would think smokers should be dead within five years of smoking.

    November 26, 2010 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A. Nony

      Please do the arithmetic. 600,000 out of 6 billion is 1/100 of 1% (i.e., 1/10,000). The article made a slip of a factor of 100. This is sloppy writing and editing, but so what? To react to 1/100 in the fashion so many commenters have reacted is sloppy reading! Sloppy reading is in fact worse than sloppy writing.

      Personally, I think smoking (and overeating and drinking to excess, and not wearing a seat belt and being sedentary and not applying sunscreen and so on ad infinitum) is idiotic. But I also think the obsession so many people have about imposing their standards of healthy living on perfect strangers is a sign of not having a life. I also think (although I have not studied the studies) that the social costs - which is the reason so many people give for forcing people to not smoke, not become fat, not do this or that - are overstated, for policy reasons . The Nanny State wants everybody to be a good little boy or girl, and I find it credible that the NS is perfectly willing to fudge the numbers to make it seem horribly irresponsible not to be good. If I cared more, I'd sit down and read all the studies and analyze all thenumbers, but I just don't care. Light up, eat up, and drink up, and if you die prematurely, I simply don't care. (But you won't get an ashtray in my house.)

      November 26, 2010 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
    • notmyrealname

      Keep on puffing away, Markie. Die of lung cancer; let your loved ones see you suffer.

      November 26, 2010 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
  30. charles s

    There is about 6 billion people in the world and if 600,000 are killed by second hand smoke, then .1 % per year is killed by second hand smoke. According to this site http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_lifespan_of_a_human_being , the average life span of a human is 66.5 years. So if you multiply .001 time 66.5, you will get .0665 or 6.65% chance of dying from second hand smoke during a lifetime. This article says that a person has a 1/100 or 1% chance of dying from second hand smoke. Is my calculation of 6.65% correct? Maybe a statistician can better address this question.

    In any case, second hand smoke is bad for anyone near it.

    November 27, 2010 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A. Nony

      You are off by a factor of 10. 600,000 divided by 6 billion is 0.01%. (The article was off by a factor of 100!) Taking 70 years as the life expectancy, this is an 0.7% chance of dying of second-hand smoke in a lifetime. This seems like a reasonable number to me - and not one to worry a lot about. Your chances of dying in an automobile accident over a 70 year period are, very roughly, the same. However, in contrast to automobile accidents, which are only partially under a person's control, second-hand smoke is almost entirely under an adult's control. It is easy to avoid second-hand smoke in the U.S. Possibly you will have to be a PIA to some of your relatives and friends to avoid second-hand smoke, and you may choose not to, but life is about choices.

      November 27, 2010 at 09:57 | Report abuse |
    • charles s

      Yes, you are right I was off by a factor of 10. The figure for average life span came from the CIA https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html that is quoted in my reference. The CIA gives an average life span of 66.12 years.

      Relatives and friends who smoke can be avoided but not so true with strangers. Only in recent years has smoking indoors been banned in many States. In many parts of the world, it still is prevalent and is hard to avoid. In many countries, smoking is on the rise because their governments often profit from it.

      November 27, 2010 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
  31. steph

    At http://ThisSideIsGreener.com they said the number is actually closer to 800,000 but that some of the people also have other illnesses, so they dont fully put the blame on second hand smoke. The sad part is when I see parents smoking with their children in the car.

    November 27, 2010 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Maribeth

    In order for the cause of death to be honestly attributed to second hand smoke, all other risks would have to be be removed or explained. Such as pollution, diet, heredity etc., etc. Therefore at best, this is a therory. There is no way to establish a absolute control group. I am certainly not pro smoking, it is a very risky behavior. However, I can not intellectually grasp this.

    November 27, 2010 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Shawn

    Why is secondhand smoking more dangerous? This about what at the tip of the cigarette...no... the other tip that the smoker puts in his mouth. It's a FILTER. A cigarette filter has the purpose of reducing the amount of smoke, tar, and fine particles inhaled during the combustion of a cigarette.
    Now think about whats on the other end of a lit cigarette. Smoke.. which includes unburnt particles of tobacco and other chemicals being released into the air, and which is breathed in by a person nearby. These unburnt particles cling to the insides of the bronchial airway, the alveolar ducts, and alveoli. These unfiltered particles of smoke are more dangerous even to a smoker.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • millie fink

      Yep, good point.

      Smokers protect themselves with filters, but not their secondhand victims!

      Selfish bass turds...

      November 27, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
  34. Ahmed

    1400+ years ago, Allah s.w.t clearly bound Muslims through Holy Qur'an about the use of intoxicants in general (not just alcohol but intoxicants as a whole!) and this clearly implies that a Muslim is NOT supposed to mess with his body through intoxicants because his body is not his, but in reality it belongs to ALLAH and its HIS belonging that has been temporarily granted to all the human beings at the time of their birth and will be taken back on their death.

    O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.
    Al-Qur'an – Surah Al-Nisaa – Chapter 5 – Verse 90

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=172572122761206&id=152497481443515

    November 27, 2010 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Myles

    If all of these people lived, how would we feed them? We can't feed everyone on the planet as it is. Also, how about the potential carbon footprint of these people who have died. If they were all to live, it's that many more people damaging the Earth. There are too many people on this planet and statistics such as these don't bother me in the least. Another world war a reappearance of the plague wouldn't hurt either. Hopefully involving China and India. The herd needs to be culled. This planet cannot support any more people. It cannot support the number of people currently on it. Something's got to give.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • millie fink

      Mmm hmm, so we might as well choke off as many as we can with secondhand smoke.

      Oh wait, how about we just use Zyklon-B poisonous gas instead? That'd be even quicker!!

      SMDH...

      November 27, 2010 at 14:03 | Report abuse |
    • RT

      What are you talking about we can't feed everyone? When was the last time you had a problem getting food? Have you been to walmart in the last decade? I don't see that fat whale/blob you call a person hovering around in their electric shopping cart starving. Look at how fat America is? The only reason people are starving is because they are to poor to buy their food. Why don't you send the money you spend on cigarettes to help the starving people in some other 3rd world country. $0.25 a day is all it takes. Or keep smoking and kill three people with one cigarette (if you need me to spell it out for you that's you, me, and the starving people cause you would rather smoke an idiot stick).

      November 27, 2010 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
  36. PJ

    I have a great idea. All smokers should stop smoking for 100 years. Then we can conduct research to see if there is a drop in deaths caused by smoke. If not, you idiots that are costing the US billions of dollars in healthcare can go back to killing yourselves. Your rights end at your nose and my fist. Ban smoking in public!

    November 27, 2010 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Domwoolf

    To quote a fav movie "Whats wrong? You fools want to live forever?" Somethings gonna kill ya. Smoking, pollution, additives in the food you eat, the water you drink or the air you breath. Rlax and enjoy life. Nobody gets out of it alive.

    November 27, 2010 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • millie fink

      Right, so why NOT hasten the death of yourself, and of others, by smoking?

      And yeah, come to think of it, why NOT just do anything and everything that tends to make life shorter? Since we're all gonna die, might as well die SOONER, right?

      Okay, I'm off now for a drive down the wrong side of the highway. It's a real adrenaline booster!

      (In other words, dude, your logic is invalid.)

      November 27, 2010 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  38. Doug

    When stated that 1 in every 100 people die around the world die from secondhand smoke, the author managed to forget a couple of zeros. If you do the math, 600,000 deaths among the world's population of 6 billion people amounts to 1 in every 10,000 people.

    November 27, 2010 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Joan in NC

    Years and years ago I read a book filled with letters to Dear Ann or maybe it was Dear Abby. In either case a woman wrote in to say her husband was a heavy smoker yet she was the one that got the lung cancer. She lost a lung but her husband kept on puffing away around her all the time. So one day they take their dog to the vet and he just happens to mention that smoking could cause harm to the dog. According to her her husband quit smoking cold turkey that day.

    Shows you where she stands in her husbands affections, dead last. That is if the story the lady wrote was even true.

    Couldn't resist posting that! 🙂 I can say that I suffered many respiratory issues as a child and then a young married woman due to living with smokers. I say that because since I became single 22 years ago I have had very few URI's compared to my youth and married years. But I'm not dead from 2nd hand smoke nor, at this point, will my past years of exposure be a factor in my death. Had I not had these 22 years smoke free that may not be the case.

    November 27, 2010 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Iron-e

    legalize pot and make tobacco illegal. I wonder how cigarette smokers would feel about that justice system.

    November 27, 2010 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. ScotDane

    So, Juan who works hauling sticks on his back 20 miles a day to earn just enough to feed his family a very meager meal. Juan has never been anywhere other than his village and surroundings. Juan has arthritis and it causes him great pain every day. He can barely sleep and has considered suicide. He does get some pleasure from an allowance of tobacco which he savors in the evening to numb his pain and give him that slight euphoric feeling he's needed all day.
    BUT NO! Now we have some do gooders with a research budget and an agenda calling out smoke in the home. So, Juan, guess what. Your life just got more miserable. We're taking that tobacco away from you because it's just too dangerous.

    November 27, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LJ

      So tobacco is a painkiller and narcotic now huh? Well...let's get rid of that Celebrex that treats arthritis and Ambien that helps people sleep and Prozak that helps people overcome depression...we now have Newports! Excellent marketing campain sir. This guys life would be so much better with COPD on top of his other problems.

      November 27, 2010 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • A. Nony

      Scot Dane is correct. Tobacco helps to relieve "Juan" of pain –physical pain and mental pain. If "Juan" could afford a hip replacement or cortisone shots for his arthritic knee, or drugs like Celebrex, Prozac, Ambien or even OTC drugs like Alleve, tobacco MIGHT not be so attractive to him. Nor, statistically, is "Juan" likely to live long enough to develop cancer or heart disease from cigarettes. Something that we don't even think about will probably get him first. Cancer and heart disease are so prevalent here because people live long enough to get them; they aren't killed off earlier by dysentery, pnemonia, typhoid etc. I think people in the US who smoke are either idiots, delusional, or very weak-willed but I understand - as much as anyone living in the US can - how positive smoking seems to people who have little else. (And no, I DON'T OWN STOCKS in tobacco companies or companies who own tobacco companies.)

      November 28, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
  42. carh8r

    No biggie. Double the number of innocents die in car accidents each year. We could save 1.2 million lives a year by stopping driving, walking, biking and using mass transit.
    source:
    http://www.emro.who.int/whd2004/QA.htm

    "It is estimated that in 2002 road traffic crashes killed 1.18 million people around the world and injured about 20 million to 50 million more, millions of whom were disabled for life."

    November 27, 2010 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Magnus

    Ignorant smokers will believe what they want to believe so that they can continue their addiction, not caring who they are killling in the process. The laws need to change to protect the rights and health of non-smokers in this country.

    November 27, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jonathan

    Pseudoscience.

    November 27, 2010 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. James

    if im going down for smoking im taken everybody with me

    November 27, 2010 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Janice

    How many die from second-hand liquor? Most of the world sells cigarettes but banned smoking for 600,000 peop!e worldwide

    November 27, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Chris

    To me this article is just more propoganda for higher cigarette taxes. You have to wonder why the public is never allowed to hear apposing views (on this subject from the media). Kind of reminds me of the way some other countries have used the media in the past.

    November 28, 2010 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LJ

      Hear opposing views? You never hear of opposing views in the media because there are no positives from puffing on an idiot stick. Seriously, tell me what you would talk about if you controlled the media? Name me one positive thing about a COPD exacerbation. You are an idiot.

      November 28, 2010 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      First of all LJ if I controlled the media I would hire experts who support smoking and make thousands of comercials that would convince people that this whole nonsmoking movement was just a scam. I would get the best spindoctors in the world to convince people that nonsmokers are bad people and are a minority. but most of all I would not allow anyone to make comercials or print adds that would appose my views. Eventually the majority of people would believe me. get it

      November 28, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • LJ

      So what you are telling me Chris is you want more lies printed in the news? You would like the opposing views of the money grubing cigarette companies printed and more people to die? I'm a respiratory therapist and I can tell you from first-hand experience everyday that smoking kills and it's not always pretty. It may not kill you, but it does kill. Have you ever seen an end-stage COPDer or been a family member that had to remove a loved one from a ventilator because of the COPD they aquired from smoking, and don't get it twisted, smoking is the leading cause of COPD. There is no conspiracy here Chris. Sometimes it takes scare tactics and BS propaganda to get people on track. Not everyone is as smart as you are Chris. If something is bad it's bad. There is no other side. That is why you never hear the upside of cancer.

      November 28, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      If the anti smoking movement would just tell the truth about statistics and stop fudging facts I might believe them. But since they have been caught telling so many lies and pushing their political agenda they have lost alot of credibility. Now even Doctors and scientist are losing their credibilty with the public because of this crap. Just tell the truth. That's all I'm saying. Cause if they are going to lie about the facts then people will just have to make up their own facts.

      November 28, 2010 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
  48. Bob Cargill

    Wow. Lots of nicotine addicts sure get bent out of shape when you point out that their disgusting habit doesn't only affect them. Second hand tobacco smoke makes me physically ill, such as severe headaches and nausea. Or am I just imagining that? You selfish idiots who think it is somehow your right to ruin non nicotine addicted peoples breathable air should get a clue.

    November 28, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jim

    Did you know cigarette smoking also causes cervical cancer? Or did we forget that one already.

    Smoking is bad and should not be done around children (DUH) but the reality of the matter is that you can not stop smoking by law enforcement any more then you could enforce a law so everyone has to wipe their rears with the left hand only. I quit smoking earlier this year cause I got sick of all the other people trying to quit. They were always constantly complaining, bumming my smokes, and making me feel guilty.

    Not that it matters anyways most these breeders have their children on more performance enhancing drugs then a Major League Baseball player just to pass grade school. Once it comes out of your legs it becomes everyone's problem. I didn't breed them so your offspring should not be my problem. Have some respect for others and stop being so selfish.

    November 28, 2010 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. bozo

    Lies! Lies! and Damned Lies! this is all a manufactured P.C. B.S. junko science.. why does CNN print this BS?!!

    November 28, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
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