Secondhand Smoke Deadly for Nonsmokers

Study finds 15% rise in death rate when living with smoker

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WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Adults who've never smoked but who live with a smoker have a 15 percent greater risk of death than people who live in smoke-free homes.

That's the finding of new research published online this week in the British Medical Journal.

The study examined New Zealand census data on adults who had never smoked and were 45 to 74 years old at the time of either the 1981 or 1996 census. The participants provided information on the smoking status of all household members aged 15 and older. The participants' death rates were monitored for three years after each census.

This study's results are consistent with previous research findings but offer a more precise measurement because these results are based on a large study, the authors said in a prepared statement.

The new findings contribute to the evidence of harm caused by secondhand smoke and lend support to efforts to reduce people's exposure to it, the authors concluded.

More information

The National Jewish Medical and Research Center has more about the dangers of secondhand smoke.

SOURCE: British Medical Journal, news release, April 5, 2004

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