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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Secondhand smoke may increase risk of breast cancer

California regulators became the first in the U.S. Thursday to classify tobacco smoke as a "toxic air contaminant", a move
that could toughen state regulations on cigarette smoke.
Being exposed to secondhand smoke may increase the risk of breast cancer for women under 50, study found.
The unanimous decision by the state Air Resources Board relied on a September report that found a sharply increased risk
of breast cancer in young women exposed to secondhand smoke.
The report also links drifting smoke to premature births, asthma and heart disease, as well as other cancers and
numerous health problems in children.
"If people are serious about breast cancer, they have to deal with secondhand smoke," said Dr. Stanton Glantz, director
of the Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco.
The report was done by scientists at California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
Its key new finding is that women under 50 exposed to secondhand smoke had a 68% to 120% greater risk of breast cancer
than women who weren't exposed. Women past menopause, however, were not at significantly higher risk.
The report also found that secondhand smoke concentrations in vehicles with smokers is 10 times higher than in the homes
of smokers.
Major cancer groups, including the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, said evidence that
secondhand smoke causes breast cancer is inconclusive. The disease kills about 40,000 women in the U.S. each year.
Tobacco companies, in public comments filed with the board, said the report gave too little weight to studies that found
no link to breast cancer. Chinese album.


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