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Smoking bans

By United Press International
Smoking bans
A young Chinese couple light up cigarettes while shopping at an outside market in Beijing on August 17, 2009. According to the American Cancer Society, one of every three cigarettes consumed worldwide is smoked in China. There are more than 350 million Chinese smokers Ð roughly the same amount as the entire US population. They consume an estimated 1.7 trillion cigarettes per year, contributing to four of the five leading causes of death. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

ATLANTA, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Bans on smoking in public places reduce the health risks of non-smokers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said.

The CDC asked for an analysis of research looking into whether smoking bans reduce the chance of heart disease among those exposed to secondhand smoke.

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CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, in a CDC news release put out Thursday, said, "The report confirms that eliminating smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars and other public places is an effective way to protect Americans from the health effects of secondhand smoke, particularly on the cardiovascular system."

Dr. Neil Benowitz, who was part of the CDC panel that looked into previous studies on smoking bans told a news conference, "Even if you think you are perfectly healthy, secondhand smoke could be a potential threat to you."

He said secondhand smoke "is an immediate threat to your life."

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