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Smoke harms children.

An Environmental Protection Agency report has concluded that secondhand tobacco smoke poses severe health risks to children, causing thousands of respiratory illnesses annually. The EPA report,. presented to the agency's science advisory panel June 18, 1992, also raised concerns that tobacco smoke may be linked to sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. The cause of SIDS is not known, but the EPA study suggests there may be a relationship with infants' exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke either before or after birth. It offered no conclusive proof.

The report, which is based on an examination of dozens of scientific studies and aims to assess the health risks from tobacco smoke to nonsmokers, has been under review at the EPA for more than a year.

Agency spokesmen said the new study concludes that secondhand tobacco smoke is believed to account for more than 200,000 serious respiratory ailments in children annually, including bronchitis and pneumonia. The report also suggests a direct link between secondhand tobacco smoke and asthma, an affliction that affects tens of thousands of children. It says children are twice as likely to develop asthma if they live in homes where at least 10 cigarettes are smoked daily.

John Banzhaf, executive director of the anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health, called such findings a major step toward getting legislation passed on the federal and state levels to ban smoking in public places and one that may be used in custody cases.

--From the Ann Arbor News, 6/18/92
COPYRIGHT 1992 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:secondhand tobacco smoke
Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Sep 22, 1992
Words:250
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