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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 192-198

Second-hand Smoke: A neglected public health challenge


International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rana J Singh
International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.89950

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Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) causes an estimated 5% of the global burden of disease, slightly higher than the burden from direct use of tobacco. This review highlights the urgent need to address this ignored public health issue by presenting the evidence and impact of SHS on those exposed using global studies including those from the South-East Asia Region. The burden of morbidity from SHS exposure is higher in low-income countries in Southeast Asia region compared to the rest of the world. SHS exposure affects those most vulnerable, especially women and children. While several countries in the region have enacted legislation which offer protection to those exposed to SHS, most measures are partial and inadequate. As a result, implementation and compliance at national and sub-national level within the countries of the Southeast Asia region is variable. Governments must ensure that legislation mandates comprehensive smoke-free environments in order to provide public health benefit which offers universal protection to everyone and everywhere. Where comprehensive legislation exists, stringent implementation and enforcement, along with awareness building, education and monitoring through regular compliance studies must be done to sustain smokefree status of public places within jurisdictions.


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