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Half of world's children are passive smokers - damning disclosure from WHO

The world health organisation has come out with a damning disclosure that half the world's children are passive smoke. In a message on "No Tobacco Day 2001," World Health Organization chief Gro Harlem Brundtland said 700 million children were exposed to the health hazard because most governments still allowed smoking in public places. She added that scientists around the world agreed that there were no safe permissible levels of second hand smoke.

"Far from being a mere annoyance or a minor discomfort, exposure to second-hand smoke causes cancer and contributes to various lung and heart diseases," said Brundtland, adding that it can cause "asthma and other respiratory illnesses in children" and also has been implicated with sudden infant death syndrome and middle ear infections".

The WHO says 11,000 people die every day, due to causes related to smoking and the figure is expected to more than double by2020, if current trends continue. She saved the worst for the tobacco majors and said "big tobacco companies have paid for bogus scientific studies, unleashed well-funded campaigns to attack legitimate studies, set up front groups to push smokers rights, sued health authorities in court, and done everything in their power to delay and defeat meaningful action on second-hand smoke".

Another startling and worrying statistic is that figures predict that nearly 20% of the women in the world, that is one in five women the world over, will be smokers by 2025 if current trends continue. Now 48% of the men in the world and 12% of women are smokers. Not a happy figure to relish. Lets hope the smokers are listening!!!!!!


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