Tag Archives: Smoking ban

How Dangerous is Outdoor Second-Hand Smoke?

Indoor smoking bans have forced smokers at bars and restaurants onto outdoor patios, but a new study suggests that these outdoor smoking areas might be creating a new health hazard.

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The study, thought to be the first to assess levels of a nicotine byproduct known as cotinine in nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke outdoors, found levels up to 162 percent greater than in the control group.

Secondhand smoke contains several known carcinogens, and there may be no safe level of exposure.

Cigarettes are also “widely contaminated” with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people, according to a new international study.

The research team describes the study as the first to show that cigarettes could be the direct source of exposure to a wide array of potentially pathogenic microbes among smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke.

Bacteria of medical significance to humans were identified in all of the tested cigarettes and included:

•Acinetobacter (associated with lung and blood infections)
•Bacillus (some varieties associated with food-borne illnesses and anthrax)
•Burkholderia (some forms responsible for respiratory infections)
•Clostridium (associated with food-borne illnesses and lung infections)
•Klebsiella (associated with a variety of lung, blood and other infections)
•Pseudomonas aeruginosa (an organism that causes 10 percent of all hospital-acquired infections in the United States)

Click to see:->Passive smoking a ‘global threat’, WHO warns

Resources:
Science Blog November 18, 2009
Eurekalert November 19, 2009
Environmental Health Perspectives October 22, 2009
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene November 2009; 6(11):698-704

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Months After Smoking Ban, Heart Attacks Down by 40%

A smoking ban caused heart attacks to drop by more than 40% in one US city and the decrease lasted three years, federal health experts reported.

Pueblo, Colorado, passed a municipal law making workplaces and public places smoke-free in 2003 and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials tracked hospitalizations for heart attacks afterward.

They found there were 399 hospital admissions for heart attacks in Pueblo in the 18 months before the ban and 237 heart attack hospitalizations in the next year and a half – a decline of 41%.

The effect lasted three years, the team reported in a CDC report. “We know that exposure to second-hand smoke has immediate harmful effects on people’s cardiovascular systems, and that prolonged exposure to it can cause heart disease in nonsmoking adults,” said Janet Collins, director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

“This study adds to existing evidence that smoke-free policies can dramatically reduce illness and death from heart disease.”

Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke can raise heart disease rates in adult nonsmokers by 25% to 30%, the CDC says.

Sources: The Times Of India

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