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Jun 4, 2005 |

There is no longer much doubt about the fact that secondhand cigarette smoke is an extremely dangerous substance to those exposed to it for even short durations.

Now, a report in the journal Circulation drives the point home with a long list of serious heart-related and other hazards posed by secondhand smoke. These include:
Serious heart effects similar to those from air pollution and 80% to 90% as great as those from chronic active smoking
A risk of heart disease that is only 50% less than that of an active smoker despite the fact that smokers take in dosages of smoke that are 100 times or more than those delivered to a passive smoker
Increased blood clotting ability
Increased abnormalities in blood vessel walls
Increased risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
Lower levels of "good" HDL cholesterol (even in children)
Greater buildup of "bad" LDL cholesterol in artery walls
Higher levels of blood markers associated with heart disease and plaque buildup
Increased source of free radicals that damage cells
Lower levels of antioxidants which fight free radicals
30% increased risk of heart disease
35,000 or more deaths per year in the U.S. alone

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