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Nonsmoker Mortality Showcases Harm of Secondhand Smoke

One nonsmoker dies from secondhand tobacco smoke exposure for every 52 smokers

TUESDAY, March 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From 1990 to 2016, the number of individuals who smoke associated with the death of one individual who died from secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure increased to 52.3, according to a study published online March 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Hamza Yousuf, from the Amsterdam University Medical Center, and colleagues calculated the number of individuals who smoke associated with the death of one individual who died from SHS exposure in a cross-sectional epidemiological assessment. The number of individuals who smoke in each country and number of premature deaths related to SHS in that country were tabulated from 1990 to 2016.

The researchers observed a favorable change in the SHS index globally, from 31.3 to 52.3 individuals who smoked associated with the death of one individual who did not smoke from 1990 to 2016. Wide regional variation was seen in the 2016 secondhand smoke index, from 42.6 to 85.7 individuals who smoked in the Middle East and North Africa to North America, respectively. The pack-year index also changed favorably worldwide, from 751.9 to 1,255.9 pack-years associated with one death in 1990 and 2016, respectively.

"We suggest that the secondhand smoke index may be used as a benchmark for effectiveness of protection against tobacco in countries, and help governments to shape their anti-tobacco policies," a coauthor said in a statement.

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