Second Hand Smoke Leads to 42,000 deaths

How many Americans die from smoking without even lighting up a cigarette? More than 42,000 people a year, including 900 infants, according to a new, thorough analysis of secondhand smoke deaths by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

Altogether, that’s 600,000 years of potential life lost — an average of 14.2 years for each nonsmoker who has died prematurely as a result of someone else’s smoking — amounting to $6.6 billion in lost productivity.

The early deaths disproportionately affect African-Americans, especially black infants. And the researchers said they are likely underestimating the true impact. Their results are detailed this month in the American Journal of Public Health.

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