Smoking kills, even if you don’t smoke. As a result of widespread tobacco use, approximately 443,000 Americans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease, according to a 2008 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 11 percent of these deaths resulted from secondhand smoke exposure.
“[Secondhand smoking] is a very serious problem,” said Geri Healey-Dame, System Director of Respiratory Care for Hallmark Health System. “I believe it’s pretty significant. We see a lot of patients with lung disease. They can be people who have never smoked, but work in a smoking environment, like waitresses and bartenders.”