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North's hidden killer.

Second-hand smoke is the next killer time-bomb waiting to go off.

Thousands of North East people will die from second-hand smoke in the next 20 years with unions and anti-smoking lobby groups claiming it could be the next asbestos threat.

Asbestos kills hundreds of North East people every year and the number of deaths is not expected to peak until 2015.

Smoke Free North East has revealed 200 people die of smoking-related diseases every year. Up to 35 are people who have been exposed to it at work.

The group said the number of deaths from smoking-related illnesses like heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and nasal cancer will not reach its peak for decades to come.

Ailsa Rutter, acting director for Smoke Free North East said: "What we know now is passive second hand smoke is a hidden killer."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 5, 2005
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