World Health Organization (WHO) declared that secondhand smoke contributes 1 percent of total global deaths worldwide. This number means that there are about 600,000 passive smokers who die each year due to smoking habits of others.
In the first study to assess the global impact of passive smoking, the WHO expert team found that children are the victims of the most exposed to secondary cigarette smoke, and approximately 165,000 children die each year because of cigarette smoke.
“Two thirds of deaths occur in Africa and South Asia,” said research team led by Annette Pruss-Ustun of WHO.
According to Pruss-Ustun, exposure to secondhand smoke at home were most numerous. And infectious diseases and the effects of tobacco seems to be a deadly combination for children.
Deaths due to secondary smoke on children tend to occur in many poor countries and middle, while mortality in adults scattered in countries with all levels of income.
From the WHO data, there were about 40 children, 35 female non-smokers and 33 percent male non-smokers exposed to cigarette smoke and exposure to secondhand smoke in 2004.
This exposure is estimated to have caused 379,000 deaths from heart disease, 165,000 due to respiratory infections, asthma and 36,900 for 21,400 for lung cancer.
“And to impact overall, deaths from tobacco growing to 5.1 million deaths per year due to active tobacco use,” added Pruss-Ustun.
Pruss-Ustun urging states to enforce the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), in order to implement measures such as increasing tobacco taxes are higher, plain packaging of cigarettes and ban tobacco advertising.
“Policy makers in each country should remember that enforce smoke-free law will substantially reduce the number of deaths caused by exposure to secondary cigarette smoke in the first year of implementation, with accompanying reduction in the cost of disease treatment in health and social systems,” said Pruss-Ustun.
Passive smokers usually inhale smoke from burning cigarettes and the smoke released by an active smoker. Being passive smokers actually has unwittingly made seseoran become smokers. Usually these second-hand smoke at home, cars, workplaces and other public places like bars.
To see how much passive smokers exposed to smoke can be tested by measuring levels of nicotine, cotinine and carbon monoxide in the blood, saliva or urine. Cotinine is a result of metabolic product of nicotine in the body.
Obtained more than 4,000 chemicals contained in cigarette smoke. At least 250 hazardous substances and 50 of which cause cancer is contained in a cigarette.
These chemicals such as arsenic (toxic heavy metals), benzene (a chemical in petrol), beryllium (toxic metals), cadmium (a metal used for batteries), ethylene oxide (chemicals to sterilize medical devices), vinyl chloride (toxic substances to make plastics) and other substances.
Reporting from the National Cancer Institute, on Friday (11/12/2009), an international agency for cancer research (IARC) has classified secondhand smoke as a carcinogen in humans (cancer causing substances). Therefore people who do not smoke but often inhale cigarette smoke also have the possibility of lung cancer.
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