Passive Smoking Kills over 600,000 Every Year


A  study carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) says that in the year 2004 passive smoking killed over 600,000 people around the world. A  quarter of them were children. There are 1.2   billion smokers worldwide. They are not only risking their own lives but the lives of non-smokers as well. Both active and passive smoking kill almost 6 million people a year.

The report says that passive smoking led to almost four hundred thousand deaths from heart diseases , 150,000 from respiratory infections and thousands from asthma and lung cancer .

Children are the group that is hardest  hit by passive smoking. But while in Europe only 71 died because of  secondhand smoke over 40,000 were killed in Africa. A few months ago a report  released in the US showed that more than half of American children between the ages of 3 and 11 had  particles in their blood that came from passive smoking.

Smoking in an Irish pub before a 2004 ban came into effect

Smoking in an Irish pub before a 2004 ban came into effect



Most adults who smoke do so at home and in front of their children.  Children whose parents smoke also have a higher risk of infections and other  diseases like  pneumonia and  bronchitis .

About a third of all adults and 40% of all children worldwide are  exposed to passive smoking on  a regular basis . Experts say that banning smoking in public places can help cut  health care costs and   lower the number of people who die through passive smoking. Studies show that  strict anti-smoking   laws in bars and restaurants can  massively lower exposure to smoke. Such laws can also help people quit smoking.

The report comes to the  conclusion that more needs to be done to  protect non-smokers at their place of work and on public transport . Right now only 7% of the world’s population lives in areas with strict   anti-smoking laws.



Related Topics


  • adult   = a grown-up person
  • billion   = a thousand million
  • bronchitis   = an illness that makes you cough
  • cancer   = serious disease in which cells in a part of your body grow in an unnatural way
  • conclusion   = end, finish
  • cut   = reduce, lower
  • disease   = illness
  • expose   = not protected
  • exposure   = contact with
  • health care   = the system that is responsible of looking after the health of people in a country
  • heart disease   = illness related to your heart
  • hit   = affected
  • law   = system of rules in a country
  • lower   = reduce
  • massively   = very much
  • non-smoker   = a person who does not smoke
  • particle   = very small part of something
  • pneumonia   = a serious illness of your lungs that makes it hard for you to breathe
  • protect   = defend, save from
  • public   = for anyone
  • public transport   =buses, trains, trams, subways in a certain place
  • quarter   = 25 percent
  • quit   = stop
  • regular basis   = regularly
  • release   = to make public or show to the people
  • respiratory   = connected to your breathing or your lungs
  • secondhand   = passive
  • strict   = harsh, powerful
  • study   = research; a piece of work that is done to find out more about a special topic