Study: 2nd-hand smoke more harmful to adults

Bloomberg News
Copyright 1998 The Herald-Sun (Durham, NC)
October 7, 1998

WASHINGTON -- A massive new study adds to the evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke can put an adult nonsmoker at a slightly higher risk of lung cancer, though the same doesn't hold true for children.

Researchers led by Paolo Boffetta of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, conducted the study in seven European countries, comparing 650 nonsmokers who developed lung cancer to 1,542 "control" nonsmokers who had no history of smoking-related disease. All of the people involved filled out questionnaires assessing their history of exposure to smoke.

The researchers found that adults who reported being exposed to secondhand smoke either at home or at work did tend to have a slightly higher risk of lung cancer. There was no increased risk, however, for the children of smokers.

The increased risk of secondhand smoke to non-smokers is much less than the increased risk of cancer for the average smoker.

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