WHO pushes for smoke-free indoor environments

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has released recommendations urging that all indoor environments be completely free of smoke. The organization cites extensive evidence of harm caused by second-hand tobacco smoke in their statement.

WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said, “There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.” Chan urged all countries to pass laws requiring all indoor workplaces and public places to be completely smoke-free.

There are about 4,000 known chemicals in tobacco smoke; more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer, according to WHO, which says exposure to second-hand smoke causes heart disease and many serious respiratory and cardiovascular diseases that can lead to premature death in adults. It also causes diseases and worsens existing conditions, such as asthma, in children.