WHO To Call for Worldwide Smoking Bans
The World Health Organization on Thursday plans to announce that it will base recommendations to ban smoking worldwide on a California study that found a link between secondhand smoke and breast cancer and led to the designation of secondhand smoke as a "toxic air contaminant," USA Today reports. WHO will make the announcement at the 13th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Washington, D.C.
The study, by the California Environmental Protection Agency, found that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease and adult asthma, among other health problems. The study also found that secondhand smoke increases the risk of developing breast cancer by 68% in women younger than age 50 and by as much as 120% for postmenopausal women.
A U.S. Surgeon General's report released in June found similar results for lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses but found no direct link between secondhand smoke and breast cancer.
WHO plans to announce the recommendations in September and is expected to call for regulations that would make 100% of workplaces and public spaces worldwide smoke-free (Ritter, USA Today, 7/13).