Passive smoking

Passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke, called second-hand smoke (SHS), or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), by persons other than the intended 'active' smoker. It occurs when tobacco smoke permeates any environment, causing its inhalation by people within that environment. Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke causes disease, disability, and death. The health risks of second-hand smoke are a matter of scientific consensus. These risks have been a major motivation for smoke-free laws in workplaces and indoor public places, including restaurants, bars and night clubs, as well as some open public spaces. Concerns around second-hand smoke have played a central role in the debate over the harms and regulation of tobacco products. Since the early 1970s, the tobacco industry has viewed public concern over second-hand smoke as a serious threat to its business interests. Harm to bystanders was perceived as a motivator for stricter regulation of tobacco products. Despite the industry's awareness of the harms of second-hand smoke as early as the 1980s, the tobacco industry coordinated a scientific controversy with the aim of forestalling regulation of their products. Second-hand smoke causes many of the same diseases as direct smoking, including cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases. These diseases include: Cancer: General: overall increased risk; reviewing the evidence accumulated on a worldwide basis, the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in 2004 that "Involuntary smoking (exposure to secondhand or 'environmental' tobacco smoke) is carcinogenic to humans." Lung cancer: the effect of passive smoking on lung cancer has been extensively studied. A series of studies from the USA from 19862003, the UK in 1998, Australia in 1997 and internationally in 2004 have consistently shown a significant increase in relative risk among those exposed to passive smoke. Breast cancer: The California Environmental Protection Agency concluded in 2005 that passive smoking increases the risk of breast cancer in younger, primarily premenopausal women by 70% and the US Surgeon General has concluded that the evidence is "suggestive," but still insufficient to assert such a causal relationship. In contrast, the International Agen

y for Research on Cancer concluded in 2004 that there was "no support for a causal relation between involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and breast cancer in never-smokers." Renal cell carcinoma (RCC): A recent study shows an increased RCC risk among never smokers with combined home/work exposure to passive smoking. Passive smoking does not appear to be associated with pancreatic cancer. Brain tumor: The risk in children increases significantly with higher amount of passive smoking, even if the mother doesn't smoke, thus not restricting risk to prenatal exposure during pregnancy. Ear, nose, and throat: risk of ear infections. Second-hand smoke exposure is associated with hearing loss in non-smoking adults. Circulatory system: risk of heart disease, reduced heart rate variability, higher heart rate. Epidemiological studies have shown that both active and passive cigarette smoking increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Lung problems: Risk of asthma. Cognitive impairment and dementia: Exposure to secondhand smoke may increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in adults 50 and over. During pregnancy: Low birth weight, part B, ch. 3. Premature birth, part B, ch. 3 (Note that evidence of the causal link is only described as "suggestive" by the US Surgeon General in his 2006 report.) Damage to children's carotid arteries at birth and at age 5 Recent studies comparing women exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and non-exposed women, demonstrate that women exposed while pregnant have higher risks of delivering a child with congenital abnormalities, longer lengths, smaller head circumferences, and low birth weight. General: Worsening of asthma, allergies, and other conditions. Skin Disorder Childhood exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke is associated with an increased risk of the development of adult-onset Atopic dermatitis.[34] Overall increased risk of death in both adults, where it is estimated to kill 53,000 nonsmokers per year, making it the 3rd leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.[35][36] and in children.[37] Another research financed by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and Bloomberg Philanthropies found that passive smoking causes about 603,000 death a year, which represents 1% of the world's death.