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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020

Passive smoking kills 600,000 every year

First global study confirms that secondhand smoke is a massive killer – and 200,000 of its victims are children.

NOT ONLY DOES passive smoking kill, it kills around 600,000 people worldwide every year.

The Lancet medical journal has just published the first global study into the effects of passive smoking. It found that around 200,000 of those deaths caused by passive smoking are of children. The online version of the journal estimates that there are over one billion smokers in the world and adds:

As a result, exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS), a known cause of morbidity and premature mortality, is widespread.

The analysis of data from 192 countries was undertaken by researchers in the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden for the World Health Organisation. They found that 47 per cent of deaths from secondhand smoke were in women, 28 percent were in children, and 26 per cent were in men. They also discovered that children under the age of five were most likely of all passive smokers to contract lower respiratory infections.

State health organisations have focused on the harmful effects of secondhand smoking before, leading to chilling ads like this one:

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