Australian state expected to introduce smoking bans in multi-unit housing

| January 14, 2014

The government of the Australian state of New South Wales is expected to ban cigarette smoking in multi-unit housing, according to an Australian Broadcasting Corp. story.

The story was carried, too, in the Newcastle Herald newspaper, where Matthew Kelly reported that the ban would apply to “common areas” of multi-unit housing.

The ABC piece said that a study by associate professor Billie Bonevski, of the University of Newcastle, had found that cigarette smoking “placed people at increased health risk,” though the Herald story indicated that Bonevski’s study had related only to exposure to smoke.

Kelly wrote that Bonevski, of the Hunter Medical Research Institute, had drawn on data from about 161,000 participants who took part in the 2012–2013 NSW study of people 45 and older.

“More than 12,000 people, including 8,000 nonsmokers, were routinely exposed to smoke in their homes for eight hours or more a week,” said the Herald story. “More than 7,000 were exposed for at least eight hours a day.

“Multi-unit dwellers were 19 percent more likely to be exposed than those living in houses, and more women than men were likely to be exposed because they [women] tended to spend more time at home.”

Last month, Daniel Fisher reported for Forbes that a large-scale study had found no clear link between secondhand tobacco-smoke exposure and lung cancer.

Fisher cites an article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that provided the results of a study of 76,000 women over more than a decade.

The study found a link between smoking and cancer, with lung cancer 13 times more common among current smokers and four times more common in former smokers than in nonsmokers.

But the study found no statistically significant relationship between lung cancer and exposure to passive smoke.

Category: Breaking News

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