Environmental tobacco smoke may not kill
The link between environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.
A study published in the BMJ concluded that “the results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality.” Also they found a strong association between active smoking and disease.
Enstrom and Kabat (BMJ 2003;326:1057-61), researchers from the School of Public Health at the University of California in Los Angeles, used data from the cancer prevention study of the American Cancer Association. They looked at non-smoking spouses of smokers. They found no increased risk of death from cardiovascular or pulmonary disease; this result contradicts many previous findings.
The study caused controversy because it comes at a time when many organisations and governments are struggling to ensure tobacco free spaces. Also this paper was published around the same time as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.