Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Exposure To Second-Hand Smoke Associated With Increased Risk Of Heart Disease
A meta-analysis of 18 studies dealing with the dangers of secondhand smoke concludes that a nonsmoker's risk of heart disease can increase by 25% with exposure to secondhand smoke.

While the authors classify the risks as relatively "small," they also state that "the public health consequences of passive smoking with regard to coronary heart disease may be important."

The authors conclude that, "The only safe way to protect nonsmokers from exposure to cigarette smoke is to eliminate this health hazard from public places and workplaces, as well as from the home."

The study found that greater exposure to second-hand smoke increased the risk of heart disease. The risk increase was 23% greater for people exposed to the smoke of one to 19 cigarettes per day, and 31% greater for people exposed to more than 20 cigarettes per day.

In contrast, smokers have a 60 to 70% greater risk of heart disease compared to nonsmokers.

The study, published in the March 25, 1999 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, was authored by Jiang He of the Tulane University School of Public Health.

WASHINGTON POST (3/25/99) "Secondhand Smoke And Disease", p. A18
REUTERS, (3/24/99) "Passive Smoke Ups Heart Risk"

Glantz Commentary: Recent study on secondhand smoke and heart disease

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