Study: Second-hand Smoke Brings Higher Risk of Heart Attack
CBN.com - New evidence has been found on the dangers of second-hand smoke.
A British study shows that non-smokers who inhale that smoke, even in small amounts, are at high risk for heart attack.
If you do not smoke, breathing in hazy air from the smoking section of a restaurant can be annoying, but there has been little hard evidence that inhaling second-hand smoke does any lasting harm, until now.
Dr. Michael Fiore of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, says, "For the first time, we have hard evidence, physical evidence, of second-hand smoke getting into the bodies of non-smokers and putting their health a risk."
In the study, researchers followed over 2,000 non-smokers for 20 years, measuring their blood for levels of a substance called Cotinine, which is a by-product of nicotine.
Dr. Fiore said, "What they found is that those individuals who had Cotinine in their blood stream, but were not smokers, had a much greater risk of heart attacks."
The risk was twice as high as earlier studies suggest. Non-smokers breathing in second-hand smoke increased their risk of heart attack by 60 percent. And it did not take large amounts.
Professor Stanton Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco, said, "In the past, I had thought you had to get a lot of second-hand smoke. You had to be hanging out in a bar. And what this is showing is that just about any exposure you get is causing substantial increase in risk."
U.S. health officials now estimate that second-hand smoke may be causing up to 80,000 heart attacks a year.
Because of the health risks associated with second-hand smoke, some cities, including New York, have already banned smoking in bars and restaurants.