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Surprising Science

The Passive Smoking Risk

Breathing other people's tobacco smoke is the cause of one in every 100 deaths worldwide, but a risk over which its victims have no control, says the World Health Organization.

Demanding tougher restrictions on smoking, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva says the toll is heaviest on women and children who account for three-quarters of the 600,000 global deaths a year. … There are more than one billion smokers in the world who expose billions more to their smoke. Of the 192 countries in the world only 17 have laws banning public smoking, despite evidence showing they cut exposure to second-hand smoke by 60 per cent. The harm done by passive smoking has been known for decades but it is only in the last 10 years that the scale of the damage—and ways to prevent it—have become clear.


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