US COPD Coalition

Second-Hand Smoke Exposure as Child Raises Risk of Death from COPD as Adult


A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that individuals exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS) as a child have a significantly increased likelihood of dying from COPD as an adult. The study revealed that children who lived with someone who smoked on a daily basis had a 31% higher death rate from COPD than those who did not live with a smoker as a child.The report also found that adults who experience ten or more hours per week of SHS have a 27% higher risk of death from ischemic heart disease, a 23% higher death risk from stroke, and a 42% increase in risk of death from COPD.

“This is the first study to identify an association between childhood exposure to secondhand smoke and death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in middle age and beyond”, said the study’s principle author, W. Ryan Diver, MSPH, in a press release from the American Cancer Society. “The results also suggest that adult secondhand smoke exposure increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease death. Overall, our findings provide further evidence for reducing secondhand smoke exposure throughout life.”