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European Doctors warn about second-hand smoke and call on policy-makers to take preventive actions


16 Dec 2010


EU Priorities 2020
Health & Consumers

Worldwide, 40% of children, 33% of male non-smokers and 35% of female non-smokers were exposed to second-hand smoke in 2004, according to a research article published in The Lancet on 26 November[1].  In Europe, these percentages are even higher, with more than 50% of children exposed. This exposure is estimated to have caused 603.000 premature deaths in 2004, mainly caused by coronary heart diseases, lower respiratory infections and many other health problems.

The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) wants to bring these facts to the urgent attention of policy makers.

The President of CPME, Dr Radziwill, emphasized that “special attention needs to be given to children as they are the most heavily exposed and also the most seriously harmed by second-hand smoke”. Educational strategies need to be put in place to promote voluntary smoke-free homes, as they not only reduce exposure, but also seem to reduce smoking in adults and in youths.

The study also provides the encouraging evidence that effective smoke-free legislation can reduce the exposure by as much as 60%.

Therefore, more than ever (CPME 2008/087), CPME calls on all Member States to introduce and enforce complete smoke-free laws and to adopt and fully implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

As Dr Radziwill underlines, “The harm done by second-hand smoke is scientifically proven and highly preventable. There is no excuse not to take the necessary steps to reduce it!”



For more information, please contact:

Birgit BEGER
CPME Secretary General
Tel.: +32 2 732 72 02
Fax: +32 2 732 73 44