Passive smoking 'kills 1,000s'

One bartender, waiter or club worker dies in the UK every week because of breathing in secondhand cigarette smoke, new research shows.

One bartender, waiter or club worker dies in the UK every week because of breathing in secondhand cigarette smoke, new research shows.

Passive smoking is estimated to cause at least 49 deaths a year among those working in the hospitality industry and a further 700 people die due to environmental smoke in the work place generally, according to the research.

The findings are being presented today at a conference organised by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) entitled Environmental Tobacco Smoke and the Hospitality Industry.

Professor Konrad Jamrozik, from Imperial College London, calculated the figures based on the numbers of employees in the hospitality industry, their exposure to tobacco smoke and their likely risk of dying as a result.

Prof Jamrozik also calculated that at least 3,600 people under 65 died each year from lung cancer, heart disease or stroke caused by passive smoking at home.

The RCP said the newly calculated figures were an attempt to provide more accurate estimates of the death toll caused by passive smoking. Past estimates have suggested secondhand smoke kills around 1,000 people a year in the UK.

The RCP wants to dispel the myth that there is little harm caused by passive smoking, with many tobacco companies playing down the risks.

Press Association

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