Environmental tobacco smoke and cardiovascular disease. A position paper from the Council on Cardiopulmonary and Critical Care, American Heart Association.
Although the number of cardiovascular deaths associated with environmental tobacco smoke cannot be predicted with absolute certainty, the available evidence indicates that environmental tobacco smoke increases the risk of heart disease. The effects of environmental tobacco smoke on cardiovascular function, platelet function, neutrophil function, and plaque formation are the probable mechanisms leading to heart disease. The risk of death due to heart disease is increased by about 30% among those exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at home and could be much higher in those exposed at the workplace, where higher levels of environmental tobacco smoke may be present. Even though considerable uncertainty is a part of any analysis on the health affects of environmental tobacco smoke because of the difficulty of conducting long-term studies and selecting sample populations, an estimated 35,000-40,000 cardiovascular disease-related deaths and 3,000-5,000 lung cancer deaths due to environmental tobacco smoke exposure have been predicted to occur each year. The AHA's Council on Cardiopulmonary and Critical Care has concluded that environmental tobacco smoke is a major preventable cause of cardiovascular disease and death. The council strongly supports efforts to eliminate all exposure of nonsmokers to environmental tobacco smoke. This requires that environmental tobacco smoke be treated as an environmental toxin, and ways to protect workers and the public from this health hazard should be developed. According to a 1989 Gallup survey commissioned by the American Lung Association, 86% of nonsmokers think that environmental tobacco smoke is harmful and 77% believe that smokers should abstain in the presence of nonsmokers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association