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Notice to Readers: Publication of Surgeon General's Report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke

The Surgeon General's report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke (1), was released on June 27, 2006. The report is an evaluation and synthesis of evidence regarding the health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke. An update of the 1986 report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking, the report also adds information regarding secondhand smoke to the smoking and health database developed for the 2004 report, The Health Consequences of Smoking; the database is available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco.

The six major conclusions of the latest report are as follows:

  1. Secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and in adults who do not smoke.
  2. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma. Smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children.
  3. Exposure of adults to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
  4. The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
  5. Many millions of Americans, both children and adults, are still exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and workplaces despite substantial progress in tobacco control.
  6. Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces fully protects nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.

Copies of the full report (stock no. 017-024-01685-3) can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15250-7954; via telephone, 866-512-1800; or at http://bookstore.gpo.gov. The full report, the executive summary, and the consumer-oriented publication, The Health Consequences of Secondhand Smoke --- What It Means To You, also can be downloaded at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco. Single, free copies of these three publications can be ordered at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/osh_pub_catalog.

Reference

  1. US Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2006.



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