The U.S. Surgeon General has announced that exposure to second-hand smoke not only causes lung cancer and heart disease: it can also trigger a heart attack in non-smokers. A new report published by the Institute of Medicine claims that even brief exposure is enough to bring serious health consequences to others.
The report will only serve to underline the need for a ban on smoking in the workplace, as well as restaurants and other places where members of the public gather. Nearly 50,000 people in the United States die due to exposure to second-hand smoke every year. If, as the report implies, there is no “safe” level of exposure to cigarette smoke, businesses of all kinds should be taking steps to ensure the safety of all of their customers by declaring them a smoke-free zone.