Only 5% of the world’s population is protected from second hand smoke by law, says WHO

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 09 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5398
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Second hand tobacco smoke causes 600 000 premature deaths each year globally, a third of them among children, warns the World Health Organization in a report. It says that more than 90% of people worldwide are still not protected from the dangers of second hand smoke.

    More effective measures need to be “taken urgently” by governments to protect people by enacting, and enforcing, more smoke free laws, says the agency.

    The report says children exposed to second hand smoke face a 50% to100% higher risk of acute respiratory illness and higher incidence of ear infections.

    WHO estimates that about 700 million children worldwide, or 40% of all children, are exposed to second hand tobacco smoke at home.

    It …

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