600,000 deaths by passive smoking every year
Every year, more than 600,000 men, women and children die worldwide because they were exposed to cigarette smoke. These figures come from the World Health Organization. They made a study in 192 countries.
Women (47% of deaths) constitute the largest group of victims of passive smoking, followed by children (28%) and men (26%).
Children pay the price
Children are much more vulnerable than adults in poor countries. Here are 2/3 of the deaths due to the combination of passive smoking and infectious diseases. Africa and South Asia are the most child-unfriendly areas. The World Health Organization warns the people in these countries.
However, caution is not enough according to local experts. There must be an alternative that is healthier, or that has no harmful emissions. If not, people will continue to smoke (certainly the men in the macho cultures). The electronic cigarette is the solution here, but for now the power of money is still stronger.
According to sources within the tobacco industry, they are especially searching in poor countries for potential new smokers. The local laws allow it, while in the West the number of smokers drop annually because of price and health reasons.