Health Risks From Secondhand Smoke
The scientific evidence on the health risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke is clear, convincing, and overwhelming. Secondhand smoke (also referred to as involuntary smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, and passive smoking) is a known cause of lung cancer, heart disease, chronic lung ailments such as bronchitis and asthma (particularly in children), and low birth-weight births.
Exposure to secondhand smoke has been estimated to result in at least 38,000 annual deaths in the United States and over one million illnesses in children (see table below).
Annual Toll From Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in the United States
|Condition||Estimated Annual #'s|
|Ischemic Heart Disease||35,000|
|Asthma Exacerbation in Children <18 months||400,000|
|Acute Lower Respiratory Illness||150,000|
|Ear Infections in Children||700,000|