Daily Archives: November 16, 2011

Passive Smoking

Choosing to smoke and destroying your own health is one thing but passive smoking, also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) or Secondhand Smoke (SHS), damages the health of those around you. These people have no choice as to whether or not they are exposed to your harmful smoke. Passive smoking constitutes a serious public health risk to both children and adults. It is also a major source of indoor air pollution. A non-smoker is subjected to both the “sidestream” smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette and the “mainstream” smoke that has been inhaled and then is exhaled into their environment by the smoker. Nearly four-fifths of the smoke that builds up in a room containing a smoker is of the more harmful “sidestream” type.

Smokeless Tobacco Truth

In his Huffington Post blog on April 18, Dr. Glenn Braunstein penned “Chew on This: The Real Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco.” (available here) Dr. Braunstein is professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The “dangers” he described are demonstrably fictitious. Compounding this offense, Dr. Braunstein subsequently violated HuffPo blog moderating rules by removing my April 19 reasoned and fact-driven comment, which read:
“It is regrettable that Dr. Braunstein used the Huffington Post to misinform Americans about smokeless tobacco.

About Tobacco Control

Tobacco use is the single greatest cause of preventable death worldwide – a risk factor not only for lung diseases, such as emphysema and lung cancer, but also for a host of other diseases. More than 5 million people die each year due to tobacco-related illnesses, the vast majority of them in low- and middle-income countries.
The Union has been active in tobacco control for more than 25 years, and in 1996 it established a department devoted to this issue. Its focus has been identifying practical strategies for low- and middle-income countries to achieve tobacco control and disseminating this information through technical assistance, education and applied research.