Tuesday, April 26, 2011

People ask, “Is Secondhand smoke really that risky?”

Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, answers the question that many people ask: “Is secondhand smoke really that risky?” In the CNNHealth expert doctor report, Dr. Brawley says, “Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart and lung disease in non-smokers” (CNNHealth Expert Report). He explains that tobacco smoke is filled with chemicals such as benzene, nicotine, and carbon monoxide. Benzene is known to cause leukemia. He says that secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 5,000-10,000 lung cancer deaths and 40,000 heart disease deaths in the US each year. He also points out an analysis of 25 studies that showed that non-smokers who work in a smoke-environment were 20% more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers who worked in smoke free environments. That statistic should be enough to pass a smoking ban through legislation (CNNHealth Expert Report). Read the entire report

The Bills are still pending in the House and the Senate, but the co-chariman of the Texas Smoke Free coalition remains optimistic saying, “We are already six weeks ahead of schedule” on April 8, 2011 (Austin Business Journal).

A week ago Lance Armstrong of Livestrong was interview by Texas Tribute about Smoke Free in the Texas Legislature. They discuss the issues and arguments against the smoke free bills, which seem to be a slim category with little rational opposition to the bills.

-Jennifer Neel

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