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Secondhand Smoke & Carbon Monoxide



In the spirit of public service I am sharing information that the ought to be known by all because tobacco causes the early death each year of 500,000 American, and 8 times that number world-wide. 



How concerned can we be about air quality when we have chosen for the sake of personal transportation the single greatest source of pollution and when 26% of the adult population turn their lungs into a filter system. 



Cigarette smoking causes the largest human exposure to carbon monoxide.  The COHb [C = carbon, O = oxygen, CO = carbon monoxide, Hb = hemoglobin] content in an average nonsmoker is about 0.5%, while in a smoker it is ten time3s higher, about 5% (but level up to 12% have been reported).  [This is particularly significant as I shall develop carbon monoxides link to atheroscrlerosis and the conclusion that more people die early from tobacco because of coronary problems than they do from cancer.

Toxics A to Z, Jim Harte et al, U. of Cal. Press, 1991, p. 25.



A ten-year carefully controlled investigation whose results were reported this past year found that women who are constantly exposed to secondhand smoke, at work or at home, are almost twice as likely as others to have a heart attack.  And even women who are only occasionally exposed experience a 58% increase in risk, according to the studys lead author, epidemiologist Ichiro Kawachi of the Harvard School of Public Health.  [Harvard is noted for the quality of their studies].  Discover, p. 58, January 1994.


This consequence was verified as to the development of atherosclerosis in a study where an imagining technique (B-mode real-time ultrasound) was used to measure the progress of the formation of plaque deposits over a 3-year period in 10,914 participants in the common carotid artery.  The study found that there was a 50% increase in the progression of atherosclerosis is attributed to current smoking versus those who never smoked and were not exposed to secondhand smoke (122).  Moreover, the effect of secondhand smoke was quantified to be 34% as great as the impact of active smoking on the progression of atherosclerosis (123).  Thus the increased progression of atherosclerosis associated with ETS exposure should be considered in light of the estimated 30,000 to 60,000 annual deaths in the United states attributable to ETS [exposure to secondhand smoke] 123.  Uncovered in the study was the fact that pack-years of smoking but not current vs. past smoking was associated with progression of atherosclerosis progression suggested that some adverse effect of smoking might be cumulative and irreversible (119).  The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, Howard et al, Journal of American Medical Association, January 14, 1998, Vol. 279, No. 2.



Published by the Cardiovascular Institue of the South
article by Bart G. Denys, M.D., Medical Director


We need to utilize medical funds better.  Our political whores allow the drug companies to gouge the public—a thing not done in other countries, thus millions of Americans cross the borders to obtain drugs in Mexico and Canada.  This exorbitant profits are squandered on advertising.  Such money should go to do comparative studies of drugs, and also to have meta studies done to compare the results of multiple studies.  Many of the meta studies are available only for a price via http://www.update-software.com/publications/cochrane/.