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Note: This site documents N.C.’s work on making public schools tobacco free, from 2000 until state law went into effect in 2008, and is provided as a resource for states and communities currently working to make their schools tobacco free. Factual information reflects research and data from 2000-2008.

CDC Commentary on Secondhand Smoke: 2004

The Dec 22,2004 of the MMWR provides commentary from the CDC on the public health risks of secondhand smoke. Read the commentary below.

CDC Commentary on Secondhand Smoke: 2004

In 2004, new studies prompted the Centers for Disease Control to conduct a thorough literature review of secondhand smoke and heart disease. A CDC Commentary that was published in volume 328 of the British Medical Journal on April 24, 2004 states:

"All patients at risk of coronary heart disease or with known coronary artery disease should be advised to avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking".

The latest CDC commentary on the public health risks of secondhand smoke was prompted by a study in Helena, Montana that has now been replicated in Ohio. In Helena, a comprehensive local ordinance was in effect that banned smoking in public and in workplaces. During the 6 months that the law was in effect, hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction dropped by approximately 40% among citizens living in Helena. These hospital admission rates rebounded after the ordinance was suspended.

Secondhand smoke exposure has been shown to cause lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmoking adults and lower respiratory infections, chronic ear infections, and asthma among children and adolescents. There is no known safe level of secondhand smoke exposure, and evidence suggests that even short-term exposure may increase the risk of experiencing a heart attack. Increased adoption, communication, and enforcement of smoke-free policies are needed to protect the health of workers and travelers at U.S. airports.

Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, December 22, 2004