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Coroners and 'The Big Kill'.

The best professionals to consult about the possibility of deaths due to secondhand smoke ("Calculating the Big Kill," Winter 2008) are the ones who deal with it daily. That is, coroners and medical examiners.

The largest county in the country by population is Los Angeles County, Calif. Its chief medical examiner/coroner, Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran M.D., explained the realities about secondhand smoke: "[W]e as medical examiners do not list ETS [environmental tobacco smoke] on death certificates since the present state of our knowledge and controversial aspects of ETS adverse health effects neither allow us to document ETS as a direct cause of death nor to establish to a reasonable degree of medical certainty the role of ETS as a contributory cause of death."

Presumably thousands more medical examiners and coroners are in agreement.

CARL OLSON

Woodland Hills, Calif.
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Title Annotation:FOR THE RECORD
Author:Olson, Carl
Publication:Regulation
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 22, 2008
Words:139
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