31 May, 2016

Consequences on health from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)

Many studies confirm that passive smoking carries serious risks for health and life in general.

For non-smokers who live with smokers, the risk of lung cancer is at 20-30%, and the risk of coronary heart disease is increased by 25-30%. Second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous for young children and infants.

The exposure of pregnant women to environmental tobacco smoke results in underweight newborns, fetal death and premature babies. More than 79,000 adults in EU member-states die every year from passive smoking.

Home and workplace constitute the main environments for chronic and intensive ETS exposure. In several EU member states, smoking bans and smoke-free laws and regulations have led to an almost complete elimination of exposure to tobacco smoke at workplace.

The reduction of passive and active smoking will lead to the reduction of diseases and mortality rates from lung cancer, coronary heart disease, respiratory diseases and strokes, and will increase life expectancy.

Smoking ban in public places has been regarded as the second most effective intervention for reducing mortality and morbidity rates related to tobacco use, after tax increases on tobacco products.

Stelios. G. Sykallidis
The Cyprus National Coalition
for Smoking Prevention (KESAK)