Medicine: Nonsmokers, Beware!

That warning on the cigarette package ("The Surgeon General has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health") is directed, logically enough, at those who smoke. Last week Dr. Jesse L. Steinfeld, Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, pointed out the hazards for abstemious people who merely find themselves in the same room with smokers.

One risk is obvious: smoke-filled air contains visible smoke particles and invisible gases that may irritate the eyes and nasal passages. These same substances may also trigger allergic reactions. The least obvious and most insidious danger is that a colorless gas, carbon monoxide, may...

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