58 Million Nonsmokers in U.S. Are Still Exposed to Secondhand Smoke

Posted Mar 18, 2015

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Although secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in the United States dropped by half between 1999 to 2000 and 2011 to 2012, 1 in 4 nonsmokers—58 million people—are still exposed to SHS, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
 
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that declines in exposure to SHS have been slower and exposure remains higher among children, blacks, those who live in poverty and those who live in rental housing. The report finds 2 in every 5 children aged 3 to 11 years are still exposed to SHS. The study assessed exposure using cotinine, a marker of SHS found in the blood.
 
“Secondhand smoke can kill. Too many Americans, and especially too many American children, are still exposed to it,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “That 40 percent of children —including 7 in 10 black children—are still exposed shows how much more we have to do to protect everyone from this preventable health hazard.”
 
Additional key findings in the Vital Signs report include that:
 
Nearly half of black nonsmokers are exposed to SHS.
More than 2 in 5 nonsmokers who live below the poverty level are exposed to SHS.
More than 1 in 3 nonsmokers who live in rental housing are exposed to SHS.
 
The study used rental status as a way of identifying people who live in multiunit housing, which is an environment where the issue of SHS exposure is of particular concern. 
 
“About 80 million Americans live in multiunit housing, where secondhand smoke can seep into smoke-free units and shared areas from units where smoking occurs,” said Brian King, Ph.D., acting deputy director for research translation in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The potential of exposure in subsidized housing is especially concerning because many of the residents—including children, the elderly and people with disabilities—are particularly sensitive to the effects of secondhand smoke.”
 
The report credits the overall decline in SHS exposure to several factors. To date, 26 states, the District of Columbia, and almost 700 cities have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws prohibiting smoking in worksites, restaurants and bars. These state and local laws currently cover almost half the U.S. population. In addition, a growing number of households have adopted voluntary smoke-free home rules, increasing from 43 percent in 1992-1993 to 83 percent in 2010-2011. Also, cigarette smoking has declined significantly in the last 2 decades and smoking around nonsmokers has become much less socially acceptable.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0203-secondhand-smoke.html
 
Although secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in the United States dropped by half between 1999 to 2000 and 2011 to 2012, 1 in 4 nonsmokers—58 million people—are still exposed to SHS, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
 
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that declines in exposure to SHS have been slower and exposure remains higher among children, blacks, those who live in poverty and those who live in rental housing. The report finds 2 in every 5 children aged 3 to 11 years are still exposed to SHS. The study assessed exposure using cotinine, a marker of SHS found in the blood.
 
“Secondhand smoke can kill. Too many Americans, and especially too many American children, are still exposed to it,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “That 40 percent of children —including 7 in 10 black children—are still exposed shows how much more we have to do to protect everyone from this preventable health hazard.”
 
Additional key findings in the Vital Signs report include that:
 
Nearly half of black nonsmokers are exposed to SHS.
More than 2 in 5 nonsmokers who live below the poverty level are exposed to SHS.
More than 1 in 3 nonsmokers who live in rental housing are exposed to SHS.
 
The study used rental status as a way of identifying people who live in multiunit housing, which is an environment where the issue of SHS exposure is of particular concern. 
 
“About 80 million Americans live in multiunit housing, where secondhand smoke can seep into smoke-free units and shared areas from units where smoking occurs,” said Brian King, Ph.D., acting deputy director for research translation in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The potential of exposure in subsidized housing is especially concerning because many of the residents—including children, the elderly and people with disabilities—are particularly sensitive to the effects of secondhand smoke.”
 
The report credits the overall decline in SHS exposure to several factors. To date, 26 states, the District of Columbia, and almost 700 cities have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws prohibiting smoking in worksites, restaurants and bars. These state and local laws currently cover almost half the U.S. population. In addition, a growing number of households have adopted voluntary smoke-free home rules, increasing from 43 percent in 1992-1993 to 83 percent in 2010-2011. Also, cigarette smoking has declined significantly in the last 2 decades and smoking around nonsmokers has become much less socially acceptable.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0203-secondhand-smoke.html
 
Although secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in the United States dropped by half between 1999 to 2000 and 2011 to 2012, 1 in 4 nonsmokers—58 million people—are still exposed to SHS, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
 
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that declines in exposure to SHS have been slower and exposure remains higher among children, blacks, those who live in poverty and those who live in rental housing. The report finds 2 in every 5 children aged 3 to 11 years are still exposed to SHS. The study assessed exposure using cotinine, a marker of SHS found in the blood.
 
“Secondhand smoke can kill. Too many Americans, and especially too many American children, are still exposed to it,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “That 40 percent of children —including 7 in 10 black children—are still exposed shows how much more we have to do to protect everyone from this preventable health hazard.”
 
Additional key findings in the Vital Signs report include that:
 
Nearly half of black nonsmokers are exposed to SHS.
More than 2 in 5 nonsmokers who live below the poverty level are exposed to SHS.
More than 1 in 3 nonsmokers who live in rental housing are exposed to SHS.
 
The study used rental status as a way of identifying people who live in multiunit housing, which is an environment where the issue of SHS exposure is of particular concern. 
 
“About 80 million Americans live in multiunit housing, where secondhand smoke can seep into smoke-free units and shared areas from units where smoking occurs,” said Brian King, Ph.D., acting deputy director for research translation in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The potential of exposure in subsidized housing is especially concerning because many of the residents—including children, the elderly and people with disabilities—are particularly sensitive to the effects of secondhand smoke.”
 
The report credits the overall decline in SHS exposure to several factors. To date, 26 states, the District of Columbia, and almost 700 cities have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws prohibiting smoking in worksites, restaurants and bars. These state and local laws currently cover almost half the U.S. population. In addition, a growing number of households have adopted voluntary smoke-free home rules, increasing from 43 percent in 1992-1993 to 83 percent in 2010-2011. Also, cigarette smoking has declined significantly in the last 2 decades and smoking around nonsmokers has become much less socially acceptable.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0203-secondhand-smoke.html

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