Passive smoking kills 600,000 a year?
This is utter rubbish: The usual epidemiological speculation combined with assuming what you have to prove.
As far as I can tell, all that these do-gooder Swedish epidemiologists did was look at areas where a lot of people smoked and then looked at illness in those places. And, Hey Presto! Places where a lot of people smoked had more illness! But saying that inhaling other peoples smoke CAUSED the illness is totally unproven. It is just assumed.
A much more likely explanation for the relationship they report comes from the fact that it is mostly the poor who smoke these days and poor people have worse health in general.
But be that as it may, what the study completely ignores is much more direct evidence on the question concerned -- such as the fact that non-smoking wives of smokers have no worse health outcomes than average
Passive smoking claims more than 600,000 lives each year around the world - an estimated one per cent of all deaths, a global study has found.
Children are the group most heavily exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke, and about 165,000 of them die as a result, said researchers.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) study is the first to assess the global impact of inhaling other people's smoke.
Based on 2004 data from 192 countries, the figures show smoking in that year killed almost six million people, either actively or passively by claiming the lives of non-smokers.
Second-hand smoke was believed to have caused 379,000 deaths from heart disease, 165,000 from respiratory infections, 36,900 from asthma and 21,400 from lung cancer. In addition 10.9 million years of disability-free life were lost globally because of passive smoking.
The findings are published on Friday in an early online edition of The Lancet medical journal.
Dr Annette Pruss-Ustun, from the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, and her fellow authors wrote: "Exposure to second-hand smoke is still one of the most common indoor pollutants worldwide. "On the basis of the proportions of second-hand smoke exposure, as many as 40 per cent of children, 35 per cent of women and 33 per cent of men are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke indoors. "We have estimated that second-hand smoke caused 603,000 deaths.. worldwide in 2004, corresponding to one per cent of all deaths..
The figures were obtained by analysing data from disease incidence studies and smoking surveys.
More bulldust here.
The academic journal article is here, under the title "Worldwide burden of disease from exposure to second-hand smoke: a retrospective analysis of data from 192 countries"