The Major Toll of Secondhand Smoke

  • Share
  • Read Later
Nicholas Eveleigh / Getty Images

Secondhand smoke takes a sizable toll on Americans’ health and productivity, particularly among black Americans, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

Mining data collected between 2003 and 2006 by large government surveys, the researchers calculated that secondhand smoke kills 42,000 Americans each year, including nearly 900 infants. Secondhand smoke is linked to some of the same fatal illnesses caused by smoking, including heart and lung disease, and in babies, low birth weight, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and respiratory distress syndrome.

Overall, the researchers found that yearly deaths from secondhand smoke accounted for about 600,000 years of potential life lost, or an average of 14.2 years per person. The price tag for that lost productivity loss equaled $6.6 billion in total — about $158,000 per death.

(MORE: Largest-Ever Survey on Global Tobacco Use Issues Dire Warnings)

“One of the things our research tells us is that even though people are smoking less and more laws have been put in place to prevent smoking in public, the problem has not gone away,” says lead study author Dr. Wendy Max, a professor of health economics at the UCSF School of Nursing and co-director of the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging. “We still have a ways to go. These deaths from secondhand smoke tell us that individuals make choices about their smoking behaviors based on themselves, but they need to think about how their smoking impacts others.”

A previous study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also measured the health and economic impacts of secondhand smoking, using data from the California Environmental Protection Agency. The difference between the earlier study and the current one is that the CDC data were based on self-reports secondhand smoke exposure; the new study relied on an objective measure, called serum cotinine, to assess evidence of nicotine exposure in the blood.

“Some people may say they’re not exposed to secondhand smoke, but they forget about the smokey bus ride they took in the morning or when they walked through the park and someone was smoking near them,” says Max.

(MORE: Teens and Tobacco Use: Why Declines in Youth Have Stalled)

Compared with the CDC study, the UCSF researchers found lower rates of heart disease deaths from secondhand smoke, but higher rates of lung cancer deaths. The differences are to be expected given that more people are giving up smoking, Max says; lung cancer cases may be higher, since it takes longer for the risk of lung cancer to decline after quitting. The authors also reported more infant fatalities.

The researchers also found that black Americans were disproportionately exposed to secondhand smoke. Black men aged 45 to 64 had the highest rates of secondhand smoke exposure, followed by black men aged 20 to 44; black women aged 20 to 44 also had higher exposure than any other women. Further, black infants accounted for 24% to 36% of all infant deaths from secondhand smoke, although they represented only 13% of the total U.S. population

“It comes down to rates of exposure,” says Max. “Minorities are more likely to have higher smoking rates and work in places that are not smoke protected.”

(MORE: How Much Weight Will You Gain After You Quit Smoking?)

The authors hope their findings will further highlight the importance of quitting smoking and increase funding for tobacco-control programs to protect both smokers and nonsmokers, especially those in vulnerable minority groups.

“It’s challenging to control what happens at home because we cannot tell people what to do in their homes, but I hope this motivates people to quit on their own,” says Dr. Max.

The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

PHOTOS: Cigarette Warnings Around the World


The purpose of a baseball game will be to advance a ball plus score points on the other coaches and teams end zone. The football is often advanced by way of throwing it to a different one player which is actually a passing have fun with or taking it which is actually a running have fun with.


Smoking in its several ways is without any doubt very dangerous for the smoker first and of course for the people around that smoker, even if they don't smoke directly, but in reality they do indirectly, and they are affected and they experience same health issues as the the main smoker. and the most vulnerable category among those people around, are kids, and we have to protect them and to keep smokers away from kids.


 Yes, well there is no question that second hand smoke is probably always going to be an issue. At least it's getting better though.
I've noticed more and more families are making the smokers in the house always go outside for their cigarettes and what not.
I do think some of the responsibility is also with non-smokers though. There are places where they know they'll be in a smoky
environment, and still make the choice to put themselves in that situation. So there is some responsibility there.
I've still got some friends who refuse to give it up, because they don't want the weight gain, but I always try to ensure that
they can take if off. A lot of things come down to choices, no matter which way we look at it.

Bethany Constance


looking at the numbers from which these conclusions were derived. A .19 increased risk. For perspective airline pilts were told that a .85 increased risk from high altitude exposures to radiation were "so low that they were not worth mentioning". the agreed level of risk at .19 above a perceived and calculated average, that estimates no risk as a starting point at 1 in 10,000. For radiation exposures, risk is measured at 1 in 100,000 which is deemed acceptable risk moving 10 times beyond the normal standard afforded drug products. Increased by by ten times, only as a precautionary buffer.

.19 per 10,000  is 19 per million expossed, but only for those "exposed" at the levels defined in the research papers, chosen for that meta analysis. ["cherry picked" in the words of one of the few judges to ever examine the evidence] To understand your own personal risk or those of the children described in this article, it is really quite simple, select either; concentration levels or duration as exposure factors, because the three dimensional spectra representative of both would eliminate all hope of promotional concern. Divide .19 by 1000, to reflect directly your exposure in real world averages. we have a product equal to, in worst case evaluations, 19 per billion or rougfhly three times the population of the United States required to be exposed, as you are, in order to establish the first mortality is even possible. Eliminating all medical progress for the next 50 years and all hopes that yoiur own body is not capable of healing or protecting itself. Keep in mind the same people ["The Experts"]have been telling smokers for years that their "risks will decline to those of a never smoker, within a few years of quitting" [only people who smoke can heal]

Hardly the numbers you would think were necessary to promote a ban in central park. However as the Godber Blueprint and Hitler's paid shills at JAMA before that, demonstrated; if there is a political will, there will be a political way. 

Wouldn't it be something if, like OJ "searching for the murderer" on golf courses, that the medical community focused on controlling diseases to actually "find the cures"  and not so much on controlling the patients, as a modernized move, to make smoking and all things in our environment [the most deadly and voluminous "toxin" and "carcinogen" found in tobacco smoke, is ambient air] even less of a health risk. The billions wasted in zealotry replications, would have served us all to a much larger extent. Just  think, how putting the fanatics in their place would have already avoided so much financial insecurity poverty [and crime as a product of poverty], by the trillions we could have saved.

Samantha Meeuwissen
Samantha Meeuwissen

I found this really quite disturbing to read these comments. I do whole heartedly believe there is issues associated with passive smoke, and this is backed up by many peer reviewed articles, I do believe the effect is dependent on the individual themselves, whether it greatly affects on a one of situation, or could take years to affect them. Allergies to second hand smoke can be a quick reaction, but yet it is one none the less.

I dont necessarily believe statistics reported in any article I come across, as I need to see them in full to believe them, so I wont take what is written in an article as truth, nor will I believe that correlation implies causation, there could be many nuisance factors, and these are not discussed. 

I have sat in a room with smokers, where my eyes have started to burn and sting, to start after living in the house for a few months, start having reoccurring lung infections, something I was not prone to before. Now it could be said it may have been the house as that was another change, but a few months later, after the people residing there quite smoking, I stayed again, for a few months, with no ill effect. I may have more sensitive lungs, but this has been shown again in a few situations, where I have been quite ill after going out. 

I also have a family member whom has suffered from severe allergies to cigarette smoke, which ultimately caused their death - not exaggerating, but one breath caused a tailspin of severe reactions, that in the end caused their death. 


I see many articles doubting secondhand smoke is dangerous. I believe it is. My mother in law, who predates indoor smoking bans, will eventually die from COPD. her husband smoked indoors most up their married life. That may not have been so bad as he generally smoked in only one room. But she also worked for decades in an office where she was the only non smoker. She has never smoked one cigarette in her life but she has the lungs of a long term smoker.

Jill Louis
Jill Louis


Goose Men's Duvetica Black Hooded Blue Zipper Vests


Goose Men's Duvetica Blue Hooded Yellow Zipper Vests


Goose Men's Duvetica Dark Red Hooded Vests


Goose Men's Duvetica Purple Hooded Vests


Goose Men's Duvetica Red Hooded Vests


Goose Men's Duvetica Down For Black Hooded Yellow Zipper Vests

Jill Louis
Jill Louis


Adidas PRedator TRX FG Blue White Soccer Boots


Adidas PRedator TRX FG Blue Green Soccer Boots


Adidas PRedator TRX FG Blue Black Green Soccer Boots


Adidas PRedator TRX FG Black Red Soccer Boots


Adidas Adipower PRedator TRX FG Soccer Purple Green Soccer



Adidas Adipower PRedator TRX FG Football Blue Black Soccer



Adidas Adipower PRedator TRX FG Purple White Soccer




What more preposterous from the pro 2nd hand smoke crowd noticed here, is that some people seem to think that the survey is bogus and that you cant just outlaw cigarettes based on 2nd hand smoke tests alone.

While I am for the idea that people should be able to choose for themselves to smoke or not, the smokers in this country make all of our health costs skyrocket. Same as the obese people. 

It is SO very fair of all you selfish people to do what ever you want to your bodies and make us, literally pay out of our pockets to keep you alive.


Thanks for the propaganda piece, Jane. Maybe you might

consider opening your mind; maybe consider the dangers of


Jane Meeuwissen
Jane Meeuwissen

that is why my sister made it simple---- 

WHERE PEOPLE SMOKE MATTERS - People should NEVER smoke around children and only around consenting adults. 

Why Mag01 do you not care about the rights of children and non-smoking adults.

why do you not think that smokers who choose to smoke should not choose to be  responsible and considerate to others where they smoke.....

Jane Meeuwissen
Jane Meeuwissen

if smokers thought enough about others that they only smoked around consenting adults never children --- 


Jane Meeuwissen
Jane Meeuwissen

Thanks for the proof of what my sister Sue dedicated her life to make others aware


no one should smoke around children and only consenting adults- 

make a  difference, please share and tell others- and join our cause so more can understand , 

Jiali Wang
Jiali Wang

I just want to  say smoking makes my friends relieve the stress and gain inspiration .In thier opinion ,smoking  has become part of thier lives.They all konw the disadvantanges of smoking ,therefore ,they just smok when they are alone or with other smokers.And more importantly,I think it's OK.

Jiali Wang
Jiali Wang

I just want to say smoking is a good way for my friends to relieve the stress and gain the inspiration ,which is becoming part of their lives .And they often smoked when they are alone or with other smokers .They know the  harm ,but it just play a important role in thier lives.


Here’s a brief history of the antismoking madness over the last few decades.

The first demand for a smoking ban was in the late-1980s concerning

short-haul flights in the USA

of less than 2 hours. At the time, the antismokers were asked if this was a

“slippery slope” – where would it end? They ridiculed anyone suggesting such

because this ban was ALL that they were after.

Then they ONLY wanted smoking bans on all flights.

Then the antismokers ONLY wanted nonsmoking sections in restaurants, bars,

etc., and ensuring that this was ALL they wanted.

Then the antismokers ONLY wanted complete bans indoors. That was all they

wanted. At the time, no-one was complaining about having to “endure” wisps of

smoke outdoors.

While they pursued indoor bans, the antismokers were happy for smokers to be

exiled to the outdoors. Having bulldozed their way into indoor bans, the

antismokers then went to work on the outdoors, now declaring that momentary

exposure to remnants of smoke in doorways or a whiff outdoors was a “hazard”,

more than poor, innocent nonsmokers should have to “endure”.

Then they ONLY wanted bans within 10 feet of entrance ways.

Then they ONLY wanted bans within 20 feet of entrance ways.

Then they ONLY wanted bans in entire outdoor dining areas.

Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire university and hospital campuses and

parks and beaches.

Then they ONLY wanted bans for apartment balconies.

Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire apartment (including individual

apartments) complexes.

On top of all of this, there are now instances, particularly in the USA,

where smokers are denied employment, denied housing (even the elderly), and

denied medical treatment. Smokers in the UK

are denied fostering/adoption. Involuntary mental patients are restrained physically

or chemically (sedation) rather than allow them to have a cigarette – even


At each point there was a crazed insistence that there was no more to come

while they were actually planning the next ban and the brainwashing required to

push it. There has been incessant (pathological) lying and deception. Many

medically-aligned groups have been committed to antismoking – their smokefree

“utopia” – since the 1960s. They have prostituted their medical authority and

integrity to chase ideology. All of it is working to a tobacco-extermination

plan run by the WHO and that most nations are now signed-up to (Framework

Convention on Tobacco Control).

We can see the pattern here. The concocted SHS “danger” concerned a minute

statistical risk of entirely questionable causal basis for LIFELONG (30, 40,

50, 60 years) exposure to SHS from spousal smoking. Around 99.9+% of those

exposed to SHS over a lifetime have NO elevated statistical risk of disease.

Yet with the propaganda promoting the idea that SHS is bio-weapon-like, unlike

anything else on earth, we now have many delicate and dainty nonsmokers

“running the gauntlet” of smokers at entranceways, hand cupped over mouth,

terrified that they might inhale a whiff. This is the promotion of mental

dysfunction (e.g., anxiety reactions, hypochondria, somatization). And the

irrationally terrified then demand “protection”. It is fully to be expected as

a result of incessant inflammatory propaganda. And this is typically what

happens when the medically-aligned Public Health goes on its

social-engineering, deranged ideological crusades. The fanatics will keep

pushing as far as society allows them.

This has all happened in just 20 years. If it was mentioned 20 years ago, or

even 10 or 5 years ago, that smokers would be denied employment and housing and

smoking bans in parks and beaches, it would have been laughed at as “crazed

thinking”. Yet here we are. It’s all happened before and it has all been

intentional, planned decades ago. We just don’t learn or we’re going to have to

learn the very hard way because it has to do with far, far more than just



“The use of tobacco, in any form, is a dirty, filthy, disgusting, degrading


You have no more right to pollute with tobacco smoke the atmosphere which clean

people have to breathe than you have to spit in the water which they have

to drink.

…. use of the filthy, nasty, stinking stuff [tobacco]”

Sound familiar? These are the sorts of sentiments that are common amongst

contemporary antismokers. Interesting is that the quote above is from an anti-tobacco

billboard (photo circa 1915) on the road leading into Zion, Illinois, USA. When

considering the sentiments appearing on the billboard, it must be remembered

that this was many, many decades before the concoction of secondhand smoke


Zion City

was a “utopian” community established in the early-1900s by John Alexander

Dowie representing a so-called “Christian” sect (Christian Catholic Church).

Tobacco, alcohol, and gambling were banned within Zion.



FTR Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid history,

much of it predating even the semblance of a scientific basis or the more

recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. America

had a terrible bout of fanaticism/zealotry/extremism (Temperance, Eugenics)

early last century that particularly targeted alcohol and tobacco.

Unfortunately, Americans aren’t familiar with their recent history and are

venturing down highly contorted paths….. again.


Antismoking crusades typically run on inflammatory

propaganda, i.e., lies, in order to get law-makers to institute bans. Fanatics don't care how they get bans instituted, as long as they get instituted. The

current antismoking rhetoric has all been heard before. All it produces is

irrational fear and hatred, discord, enmity, animosity, social division, and



The current antismoking crusade is much like previous

crusades. It is a social-engineering, eradication crusade decided upon in the

1970s by a small, self-installed clique of zealots operating under the auspices

of the World Health Organization (see the Godber Blueprint). This little,

unelected group decided for everyone that tobacco-use should be eradicated from

the world.  This group was intending

indoor and outdoor bans and speaking of secondhand smoke “danger” years before

the first study on SHS. And like previous crusades, it relies on inflammatory

propaganda to get its way. See the Godber Blueprint




Wendy Max’s “research”, which is a statistical “death toll”

occurring in a statistical fantasy world whipped up on a computer over lunch,

was supported by the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute, and the

California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program. FAMRI and CTRDRP are funds

ear-marked for anti-smoking “research” that typically arrives at anti-smoking

conclusions. It’s agenda-driven trash. Max is also at the University

of California (San

Francisco) which has to be the most rabidly anti-tobacco

university – by miles – in America.


Smoking in proximity to a child should be treated as child abuse and prosecuted accordingly. Two of the boys in my son's class reek of cigarette smoke to the point where I can smell which desk is theirs even when they're not sitting in it.  That's some powerful stink.  I volunteered to chauffeur one boy because his parents had daycare issues, and I had to drive with the windows rolled down because he made my eyes water.  On cold days we ran to and from the car, and he couldn't keep up with me.  There's something very wrong with a 10-year-old boy who can't keep pace with a fat 40-year-old woman.  Stop smoking around kids!

Tom Volm
Tom Volm

This 2nd hand smoke stuff being spewed in every left-leaning newspaper or periodical is making me worried.  I smoke the occasional cigar, and love doing so walking on park trails, especially early in the morning.  But I know how the health-nuts work, and this article is right out of their playbook.  Spin out dire warnings based on data (but never reveal the source) and then play to either demographic (the poorer folks in this article) or for the heartstrings ("for the children").  Again, claim dire warnings based on non-named data sources.  And next thing you see in the park are signs saying no smoking, no sugar drinks, yoga only allowed, and if you dare walk around, you must wear safety gear (a squirrel might drop an acorn on you or attack you!), all enforced by the nanny police state.


This is baloney. I'm old enough to remember when smoking was popular. Nobody I know but smokers got sick.


From the land of the uber-pc, comes yet another rant about how we're all killing ourselves out here in the heartland. This one tinged with racism... "Data mining" will become the way in which these clucking nannies strap us all into our padded suits, monitor our breathing and insist that our thoughts are now becoming dangerous. Meanwhile, real people are struggling with real issues like access to quality healthcare, urban food deserts, staggering unemployment, heroin and crack addiction, and one of the most subtly dangerous and life-diminishing: morbid obesity.

Dr. Max, I don't believe you. 


@Samantha Meeuwissen you're obviously a very gullible person to be brainwashed so much. You haven't even seen a single study into the effects of passive smoke have you. I have... and I can assure you that it's not nerve's only a burning leaf and virtually harmless. Do you know, for example, that drinking water has a higher cancer risk (RR 1.25) than passive smoke (RR1.17).?


Steve, you’re spouting standard antismoker BS.

There was a presentation in the 1980s (see Godber Blueprint) at one of the

World Conferences concerning the “cost of smoking” to the health system. There

were no studies to that point. The presenter, who was partial to antismoking,

concluded that smokers were not an additional cost. He also pointed out that

these sorts of studies are highly arguable in that they rely on so many

questionable assumptions. Obviously, the fanatics didn’t receive this

presentation too well and simply disregarded it. For decades, they have been

proclaiming that smoking/smokers are a burden to the health system, even though

study after study over that time indicate that it is not true.

Through this fraudulent claim, the fanatics convinced governments to hike

tobacco taxes to “cover” the extra medical services. Governments are only too

happy to oblige; it means more money in the coffers. And the fanatics always

insist that they should be given a cut of the extra taxes to continue

“educating” the public, keeping them in comfortable employment. In the last

decade, tobacco taxes have been hiked many times into the realm of compounded

extortion. So inflated are the taxes that it’s impossible to hide the charade

any longer. And it is the poor that typically bear the brunt of these

extortionate taxes.

Consider a recent “cost analysis” appearing in an Australian government

publication. Net health costs of tobacco-use was estimated at $318,400,000

(p.51). The net revenue from tobacco sales was $6,700,000,000 (p.22). The

revenue from tobacco is 21 TIMES the extra cost of treating smokers. Even the

extent of this “extra medical cost” is arguable. The difference is obscene


Governments and the fanatics that advised them aren’t going to come out and

admit that they’ve severely overcharged smokers to the point of robbery and

that the tax on tobacco should be considerably reduced. Given that the fantasy

that smokers cost the health system can no longer be maintained, the fanatics

do what they do regularly – they change the “argument” (storyline), i.e., shift

the goalposts. NOW they argue, smokers [way] more than cover their additional health

costs, but there are “other costs”. And the above report concocts around

$32,000,000,000 of “other costs”. There isn’t time to consider how all these

“other costs” are entirely arguable. However, the absurdity of the claims

attracted some rare criticism. Further, these “extra costs”, however

questionable, are not costs incurred by government and therefore have no

relevance to cost-balancing exercises.

Shifting the “storyline” or goalposts – lying - keeps the ideological

fanatics happy (and they usually call for additional funding to help “educate”

the public). And the government is happy because it can claim that it needs to

extort even more taxes from smokers. This sort of conduct in other industries –

attracting funds on the basis of fraudulent, self-serving claims – would be referred

to as a scam or a racket.


@Jane Meeuwissen because the scientific studies prove that children 'exposed' to passive smoke have LESS chance of getting asthma, lung cancer, etc in later life. At a young age, passive smoke boosts a childs immune system. THIS IS SCIENTIFIC FACT AS PROVEN BY THE WHO and CDCl l STUDIES.

Now please, quit with the lies, scaremongering and general anti-smoking BS.

Jane Meeuwissen
Jane Meeuwissen

Yes there have been many passionate people over the years - Ever checked out why.

Sue Meeuwissen -- presented  Passive Smoking A Personal Perspective at the 1994 - 9th World Conference on Tobacco amp; Health, Paris, France after a double lung transplate due to Cystic Fibrosis earlier that year. 

Rampant website by  Vincent-Riccardo Di Pierri, PhD does not cite a fellow Melbournian who was publicly recognised for what she achieved in Passive Smoke awareness in Canberra - peoplescape.

Open your mind to understanding and awareness


Talendria, you're scary.

Mark Bau
Mark Bau

He smelled of smoke so much that it made your eyes water? I don't believe you.

Jane Meeuwissen
Jane Meeuwissen

Tom your behind the times--- or maybe in  Australia we are just better educated due to awareness being started decades ago by my sister.

And councils and government in Australia caresBreathe Easier in Monash

October 14, 2011 · Started by Jane Meeuwissen · Smokers will no longer be able to light up in parts of Monash, with Local Law No.4 coming into effect on 1 October. * within 10m of the entrance to a building on Council land/reserves * on Council land as specified in the Local Law schedule * at Council run or sponsored events


Is it really that hard to stand downwind from everyone else?


Thanks for the propaganda piece, Jane. Maybe you might

consider opening your mind; maybe consider the dangers of



 For some reason I can't reply to your comment about my dainty reaction to smoke, so I'll reply here. Where did you get the impression that I go into "judgmental histrionics?" All I said was then when a girl who lived in a smoker's home spent the night at my house, it was very, very obvious the next day. When she left we aired the room out because it smelled like stale cigarette smoke, which my family did not find pleasant. Is that ok with you?


 I believe it. I once had a friend from grade school sleep over. Her mom was a heavy smoker.  When she left the next day the entire family room smelled like smoke. We had to wash all the sheets and air the room out.


And he was sitting in the back seat. Spend some time volunteering with underprivileged kids; you'll learn all sorts of things.


“or maybe in  Australia

we are just better educated”

Brainwashed is more like it.

Here’s today’s voting result from Switzerland.

The vote comprehensively rejected (66% to 34%) an attempt at

a national *indoor* smoking ban. The Swiss are better at recognizing

de-stabilizing social-engineering and the inflammatory propaganda to push it when they see it. Kudos to them.

Jane Meeuwissen
Jane Meeuwissen

Dear Mag01,

Lol thankyou – I’m nanna of 6, My sister’s lungs, like many of her friends, would bleed, collapse when exposed to cigarette smoke and despite this, my sister cared about people's rights.

WHERE PEOPLE SMOKE MATTERS..... as I have stated is simply that.

It is not anti-smoker-- it is about educating Smoker's to be considerate of others.

which is one of the things this article mentioned----

"These deaths from secondhand smoke tell us that individuals make choices about their smoking behaviours based on themselves, but they need to think about how their smoking impacts others.”

Mag01 - considerate smokers which majority are, do care about others, and would not want to cause harm to a child, and when it is explained that your smoke can cause this child to have an asthma attack or this adults lungs to bleed, or collapse would not dream of smoking near them.


Or go on record as to who you really are and why you are against Smokers being responsible where they smoke.


Curls, it’s just dandy with me……. although you didn’t

actually address my questions. But, no matter. Let's just call them rhetorical.


I'm glad you asked. Smoking in the home is more common among low-income parents, who also tend not to have health insurance. Their children don't receive medical care unless they're very sick, and even then they tend not to see the same physician and establish a relationship. In other words, there are probably thousands of kids with undiagnosed COPD. When ACA kicks in, hopefully more of these parents will take their kids for annual check-ups, and then we'll have a clearer picture of health issues affecting all of our citizens, not just the ones who can afford to see a doctor every time they feel ill.


 So what you're saying here Talandria is that childhood COPD is on the increase. In that, you are absolutely correct. Over the last twenty years, there has been a significant increase in childhood COPD.

Oddly, though, that same twenty years has seen smoking prevalence in the US drop from thirty or more percent to twenty percent. So logic would dictate that if passive smoking was the cause of COPD in children, then over the last twenty years we should have seen childhood COPD rates tumbling even faster than smoking rates, given that these days even smoking parents in many cases avoid smoking around their kids.

So enlighten me, Talandra. Why are childhood COPD cases on the rise?


You're correct that COPD used to be considered an old person's disease, much like hypertension and type-2 diabetes. However, like other lifestyle diseases it's becoming increasingly common in younger people. If you look at the symptoms of COPD--phlegmy cough, shortness of breath, wheezing--that is exactly what this child had, so I wouldn't be surprised if doctors start differentiating COPD from asthma in children. As for denying the impact of secondhand smoke on a child's health, frankly I'm shocked that anyone would take that position. Cigarette smoke contains dozens of carcinogens, and most parents go out of their way to limit their child's exposure to toxins rather than deliberately increasing it. I'm not sure why you inferred that I didn't like him. If I didn't like him I probably wouldn't have spent a month caring for him. It did make me sad to hear his smoker's cough and watch him struggle to run a short distance. I think he's in for a lifetime of poor health.


When COPD occurs, it’s usually in people 60+. It’s certainly

not a kids’ disease. Now, Talendria, I hope you’re not going around telling people that the 10-year-old kid that can’t keep up with you is suffering COPD, let alone COPD due to exposure to ambient tobacco smoke. You don’t seem to like

him; maybe he doesn’t like you either, and when you’re running to the car he’s keeping maximal distance from you. Maybe if you dispensed with some of these irrational beliefs and the judgmental tone they engender, you might be more



Where in that article does it mention kids with COPD?

You’re scary because you sound like a sanctimonious zealot using inflammatory, exaggerated language. Are you familiar with what happened in America and Germany

early last century? The eugenics zealots, led by physicians, convinced governments that they were going to eradicate poverty, disease, and crime (tobacco and alcohol were also part of their targets). Rather, what they created was disaster; they brought out the worst in people, e.g., cruelty, bigotry, racism, supremacism, violence. Fanatics have a very narrow world view. They are at constant risk of rationalizing, say, obsession with control and bigotry as “benevolence”; they’re just wanting to “help” people, even to “save” people from themselves. They can have a severe over-estimation of their understanding of anything and

prone to a “god complex”.


This quote by C.S. Lewis might make sense in this context:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of

its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may

sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with

the approval of their own conscience."

See also posts below.


I’m curious. Until, say, only 30, 40 years ago, for the bulk

of human history smoke has been a common aspect of households – cooking smoke, heating smoke, lighting smoke, more recently tobacco smoke. Smoke is smoke. If you were born over 50 or 60 years ago, how in heavens above would you have survived with such a dainty reaction to the odor of smoke? If you’re in a kitchen where someone is cooking and where smoke is occurring, do you go into

judgmental histrionics? You must be an hysterical mess at BBQs?

Jane Meeuwissen
Jane Meeuwissen

Dear Mag01 --

 the problem is PASSIVE SMOKING cigarettes.

what people fail to understand- this smoke does not just contain tobacco - but many more chemicals.

Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT. 

Jane Meeuwissen
Jane Meeuwissen

Anti-smoking push gains momentum worldwide (News)

"The tobacco industry's multimillion-dollar campaign against the Australian government's plain pack measures comes amid evidence of the growing worldwide distaste for smoking...." READ MORE >>>