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Medical News & Perspectives
August 23/30, 2006

Report Reviews Secondhand Smoke Risks

JAMA. 2006;296(8):922-923. doi:10.1001/jama.296.8.922

At a June 27 press briefing launching his new report on the ill effects of secondhand smoke, Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona declared that “the debate is over.” But some scientists continue to question the magnitude and immediacy of cardiovascular and lung cancer risks attributed to secondhand smoke exposure.

The report marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark 1986 Surgeon General's report on the health hazards of secondhand smoke and reviews data amassed since then. More than 20 scientists authored the report and more than 40 scientists reviewed it. Among its conclusions are that children exposed to secondhand smoke are at greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome and exacerbation of existing respiratory disease (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/). The report also concludes that secondhand smoke has immediate effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.

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