Medicine: Involuntary Risk:Perils of other people's smoke

Perils of other people's smoke

"The most inflammatory question of our time," proclaimed the full-page advertisements of a tobacco company last year. The question: "Hey, would you put out that cigarette?" To cigarette producers and to the nation's 60 million smokers, those sound like fighting words. But to nonsmokers, the request appears to be increasingly reasonable and justifiable.

Last week, in the Public Health Service's annual report on smoking, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop warned that so-called involuntary smoking -- simply breathing in the vicinity of people with lighted cigarettes in enclosed areas -- can cause lung cancer and other illnesses in healthy nonsmokers. Children of...

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