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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 78

Preventing nonsmokers from being exposed to secondhand smoke: Global perspective


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission08-Jan-2016
Date of Acceptance24-Apr-2016
Date of Web Publication01-Jun-2016

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2008-7802.183377

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Preventing nonsmokers from being exposed to secondhand smoke: Global perspective. Int J Prev Med 2016;7:78

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Preventing nonsmokers from being exposed to secondhand smoke: Global perspective. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Jan 27];7:78. Available from: http://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2016/7/1/78/183377

Dear Editor,

Globally, tobacco kills half of its users accounting for close to 6 million deaths each year, of which more than 80% occur due to direct tobacco consumption whereas another 0.6 million nonsmokers die due to exposure to secondhand smoke. [1] Furthermore, almost four-fifths of the world's smoker are from low- and middle-income nations, which are already struggling to meet the welfare needs of the general population. [1]

Secondhand smoke is the smoke which is produced when people burn tobacco products that fill enclosed spaces and is a constant threat to the health of people (cancers, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.) occupying the room, predominantly due to the 250 chemicals which are known to be harmful. [1],[2] Even though the menace of secondhand smoke is universal, quite higher estimates have been obtained in the European region. [3]

Further, despite the recommendations made under the World Health Organization framework convention for tobacco control, which advocates that every individual is entitled to breathing tobacco smoke-free air, most of the nations have failed to implement the suggested measures. [1],[4] In fact, though surveillance is a key to assess the extent of the tobacco epidemic and reform existing policies, only one of every three nations has a mechanism to monitor tobacco usage through periodic nationwide youth and adult surveys. [1],[4] In addition, many nations are falling short in their commitment to ratify the convention, or raise tax on tobacco products, introduce laws on smoke-free public places, offer cessation programs, prohibition of advertisement or promotion of tobacco products, and eve pictorial warnings on packaging. [1],[4]

However, the good thing is that the momentum is growing, and in the last few years, improvement has been observed across different nations. [3],[4] Nevertheless, as no safe limits of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke have been defined, practically comprehensive smoke-free laws remain the only effective tool to negate the smoking-associated risks. [1] In fact, significant improvement has been observed among nations regarding outcome wherever laws have been implemented stringently. [3] Further, these laws have numerous other merits as well, namely, protection of employees from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in workplaces and public places, reduction in the prevalence of smoking and associated morbidities, alterations in the attitude of people, and even enhances the revenue generated by imposing a tax. [3],[4]

To conclude, secondhand smoke does cast a massive impact on the health standards of people universally. However, a lot needs to be done to ensure that tobacco becomes a thing of the past for the future generations.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Tobacco - Fact Sheet No. 339; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 05].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Fischer F, Kraemer A. Meta-analysis of the association between second-hand smoke exposure and ischaemic heart diseases, COPD and stroke. BMC Public Health 2015;15:1202.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. How can we best protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke? 2015. Available from: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/tobacco/news/news/2016/01/how-can-we-best-protect-non-smokers-from-exposure-to-tobacco-smoke. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 08].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. WHO Report On the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2015. Geneva: WHO Press; 2015. p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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