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. MileSwa

    cialis black shopping for cialis black cialis

    June 8, 2021 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. EncoxGtv

    canadian pharmacy in tampa fl can you buy drugs from canada legally rxmedico online pharmacy

    June 8, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. camper repair service near me

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    June 8, 2021 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Tires Near Me

    I was able to find good advice from your blog posts.


    June 9, 2021 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sprinter Van Seat Fabric Repair

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


    June 9, 2021 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Digital Marketing Specialists

    I must thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this website. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own website now 😉


    June 9, 2021 at 01:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Social Media Marketing Service


    June 9, 2021 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rv dashboard

    You should take part in a contest for one of the finest sites online. I will highly recommend this blog!


    June 9, 2021 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Video Marketing Business

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly feel this site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!


    June 9, 2021 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Emory Argentieri


    June 9, 2021 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jena Dornhelm

    This is the right website for anybody who wishes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for ages. Great stuff, just wonderful!

    June 9, 2021 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Reinaldo Bantin


    June 9, 2021 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Gus Ellard


    June 9, 2021 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Eldon Boster

    Very good information. Lucky me I found your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!

    June 9, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dan Radice


    June 9, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Ayako Kessner

    I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your information. The article has really peaked my interest. I'm going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


    June 9, 2021 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Fgreedypedahg

    pharmacie boutouga argenteuil, pharmacie gregoire avignon horaires pharmacie aeroport paris beauvais Effexor , https://www.etracker.com/lnkcnt.php?et=qPKGYV&url=https://is.gd/iqLwpe# pharmacie rue saint pierre beauvais. pharmacie auchan martigues Aldactone vente libre France , pharmacie ouverte nantes , therapies with cancer. pharmacie gallieni boulogne-billancourt pharmacie auchan englos , therapies de couple act therapy manual community advocates homeless prevention program store e92eeb3 , therapies comportementales et cognitives lyon. pharmacie des prГЄcheurs – totum pharmaciens aix-en-provence pharmacie leclerc normanville , pharmacie humanitaire internationale angers pharmacie argenteuil horaires pharmacie bordeaux proche gare. therapies comportementales et cognitives en 37 notions pharmacie ouverte 24h boulogne billancourt pharmacie en ligne canada.

    June 9, 2021 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Kary Manire

    Great web site you have got here.. Itís hard to find good quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 9, 2021 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Tierra Peele

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to create a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 9, 2021 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mickey Iacopino


    June 9, 2021 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Internet Marketing Companies Near Me

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own website now 😉


    June 9, 2021 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Internet Marketing Company

    Great information. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    June 9, 2021 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. EncoxGtv

    prescription drugs itching generic rx online pharmacy pharmacy online canada

    June 9, 2021 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Misty Quealy


    June 9, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Ronni Dechamplain


    June 9, 2021 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Fgreedypedars

    yoga therapies beausoleil, pharmacie boulogne billancourt pont de sevres therapies reiki pharmacie Nizoral Ketoconazole livraison rapide , http://channel.pixnet.net/newdirect.php?blog=cr19h3id&serial=0&url=https://www.open.edu/openlearn/profiles/zv910544# traitement gonocoque. traitement uv Doxepine vente libre pharmacie France , therapie roberval , pharmacie nansouty bordeaux horaires. therapies reiki therapies familiales , therapies breves liste pharmacie amiens ouvert dimanche community college in new york de cfa16ee , therapies alternatives stress. pharmacie homeopathie autour de moi pharmacie leclerc kergaradec , pharmacie brest pharmacie avignon cap sud pharmacie en ligne dax. traitement herpes genital pharmacie auchan city pharmacie avignon ouverte.

    June 9, 2021 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Content Marketing Companies

    This is the perfect website for anyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want toÖHaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been written about for years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    June 9, 2021 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. EncoxAni

    pictures of prescription drugs vardenafil canadian pharmacy online pharmacy fedex overnight shipping

    June 9, 2021 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. EncoxDev

    Macrobid non prescription medicine pharmacy pharmacy technician online courses

    June 9, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jenice Waybill


    June 9, 2021 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Amado Aldama

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you should publish more about this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people do not discuss such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!


    June 9, 2021 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Josefina Redditt

    Excellent site you have got here.. Itís difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    June 9, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Carol Emley

    Very good post. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well..

    June 9, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Johnny Tarbox

    There's definately a great deal to find out about this subject. I like all of the points you have made.


    June 9, 2021 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Trenton Ramella


    June 9, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Pierre Schriner

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!


    June 9, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. rv repair shop near me

    May I simply just say what a relief to uncover someone who actually knows what they are talking about on the web. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people should check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you're not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.


    June 9, 2021 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rv repair service near me


    June 9, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Claudia Sieracki


    June 10, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Georgia Malchow


    June 10, 2021 at 01:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Amber Narasimhan

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return once again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    June 10, 2021 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Arturo Vandresar


    June 10, 2021 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv repair service near me

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 10, 2021 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Emilee Radics


    June 10, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Kayce Charles

    You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites on the web. I most certainly will recommend this site!

    June 10, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Royce Zerby


    June 10, 2021 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Taylor Brwon

    I love it whenever people come together and share thoughts. Great website, continue the good work!

    June 10, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Roberto Laschinger


    June 10, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Carlee Gerl

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a great articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

    June 10, 2021 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Noella Pontarelli


    June 10, 2021 at 08:38 | 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 AqcfTeneseelt


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.