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 (2,638 Responses)
  1. collision repair shops near me


    May 27, 2021 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV AC California

    You've made some good points there. I checked on the web for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.


    May 27, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. toilet repair near me

    I blog frequently and I really appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    May 27, 2021 at 07:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil liquid cheap generic cialis for sale side effects of tadalafil cheap cialis pills for sale https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ivory Reever


    May 27, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil without a doctor prescription https://tadalafilww.com/ – lowest price cialis tadalafil cost walmart tadalafil goodrx cheap generic cialis for sale

    May 27, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. car paint shop orange county


    May 27, 2021 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rv entertainment system upgrade

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people do not discuss these issues. To the next! All the best!!


    May 27, 2021 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Lanora Frutchey


    May 27, 2021 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. windshield repair around me


    May 27, 2021 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. judi slot

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better!

    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting
    about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Also visit my web site: judi slot

    May 27, 2021 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Dagny Stolts

    Right here is the perfect site for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that's been written about for ages. Great stuff, just wonderful!


    May 27, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. EncoxGtv

    canadian pharmacy ritalin rx pharmacy viagra canadian drug pharmacy prices

    May 27, 2021 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. best rv repair near me

    I blog often and I really thank you for your information. Your article has really peaked my interest. I'm going to book mark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


    May 27, 2021 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. camper van near me


    May 27, 2021 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Forklift Cylinders Orange County


    May 27, 2021 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. truck paint shops near me


    May 27, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Forklifts Orange County

    Hello, There's no doubt that your website might be having browser compatibility problems. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent site!


    May 27, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Used Forklift For Sale California


    May 27, 2021 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Center Los Angeles


    May 27, 2021 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Vicente Keigley


    May 27, 2021 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Blinds California

    Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share views. Great website, stick with it!


    May 27, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. view desi mms


    May 27, 2021 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Paint Shop Riverside


    May 27, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. rv rentals orange county ca

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this info.


    May 28, 2021 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Body Shop California

    You made some decent points there. I checked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    May 28, 2021 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Roof Los Angeles

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I will send this article to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!


    May 28, 2021 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. orange county awnings

    There's certainly a great deal to know about this topic. I love all the points you've made.


    May 28, 2021 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Social Media Marketing Company

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit yet again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    May 28, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Digital Marketing Consultant


    May 28, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv repair center

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that will make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    May 28, 2021 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Google Marketing Agencies

    I quite like reading through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    May 28, 2021 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Zisseloh

    cialis webmd https://rcialisgl.com/ – what is in cialis liquid cialis research chemicals

    May 28, 2021 at 05:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. good sam rv repair

    I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.


    May 28, 2021 at 05:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. EncoxAni

    online pharmacy coupon https://pharmacyken.com/ – pharmacy online shopping usa lorazepam online pharmacy

    May 28, 2021 at 05:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. paint repair near me


    May 28, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. solar panels orange county


    May 28, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Internet Marketing Companies

    I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    May 28, 2021 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. camera shop california

    I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own personal website and would like to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Cheers!


    May 28, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Upholstery Orange County


    May 28, 2021 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. motorhome supplies near me

    Excellent article. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well..


    May 28, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. photo restoration orange county ca


    May 28, 2021 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. SEO Marketing Service


    May 28, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. international truck repair shop near me

    Great article. I am experiencing many of these issues as well..


    May 28, 2021 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Tires California


    May 28, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Internet Marketing Agencies Near Me


    May 28, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Slide Out Orange County


    May 28, 2021 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Local Marketing Companies Near Me


    May 28, 2021 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Video Marketing Company

    Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this blog.


    May 28, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Internet Marketing Specialists


    May 28, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

Leave a Reply to Carlo Tulloch


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.