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The British Medical Journal reports on a study which concludes there is a link between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and increased mortality among never-smoking Chinese women. And, that passive smoking is associated with “moderately increased” rates of all-cause, cardiovascular, and lung cancer mortality. The bottom line: secondhand smoke can kill you even if you don’t live in China.

In Chinese women with no history of smoking, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is associated with increases in all-cause mortality and in deaths from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The analysis was based on nearly 73,000 never-smoking women enrolled in the prospective Shanghai Women’s Health Study, initiated in 1997. Of these, more than 65,000 provided information on smoking by their husbands, while 66,5000 provided data on occupational and early-life exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. The effects of environmental tobacco smoke on mortality were calculated, focusing on deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease. The lead author was Dr Wanquing Wen of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.

BMJ. 2006;333:376

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