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Disclaimer Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Cancer The Environmental Protection Agency firmly maintains that the bulk of the scientific evidence demonstrates that secondhand smoke -- environmental tobacco smoke or ETS -- causes lung cancer and other significant health threats to children and adults EPAs report Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking Lung Cancer and Other Disorders EPA6006-90006F was peer-reviewed by 18 eminent independent scientists who unanimously endorsed the studys methodology and conclusions Since EPAs 1993 report which estimated the risks posed by ETS numerous independent health studies have presented an impressive accumulating body of evidence that confirms and strengthens the EPA findings It is widely accepted in the scientific and public health communities that secondhand smoke poses significant health risks to children and adults A US District Court decision has vacated several chapters of the EPA document Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking Lung Cancer and Other Disorders that served as the basis for EPAs classification of secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen and estimates that ETS causes 3000 lung cancer deaths in non-smokers each year The ruling was largely based on procedural grounds EPA is appealing this decision None of the findings concerning the serious respiratory health effects of secondhand smoke in children were challenged What is secondhand smoke Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette pipe or cigar and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers This mixture contains more than 4000 substances more than 40 of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals and many of which are strong irritants Secondhand smoke is also called environmental tobacco smoke ETS exposure to secondhand smoke is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking Secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer in nonsmokers Secondhand smoke has been classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency EPA as a known cause of lung cancer in humans
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