New Mexicans View Secondhand Smoke As Harmful To Health

Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

In a public opinion study recently commissioned by the New Mexico chapter of the American Cancer Society, the results showed that New Mexicans overwhelmingly agree that second-hand cigarette smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is harmful to people's health.

Research & Polling, Inc., a professional opinion research group located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, conducted the study. More background on New Mexico Clean Indoor Air facts.

Between the dates of December 11 and December 17, 1998, the researchers randomly selected and interviewed over 400 individuals in a telephone-based study. All participants were were at least 18 years of age and are registered voters. The study maintained a 4.5% sampling error.

Study Summary
Nonsmokers (90%) are nearly twice as likely to rate second-hand cigarette smoke as harmful to health when compared to smokers (50%).

NonSmokers v. Smokers

New Mexico's Hispanic population (88%) is more likely than Anglos (80%) to rate second-hand cigarette smoke as harmful to health.


As education increases, so does the likelihood that New Mexicans view second-hand smoke as harmful to health. The illustration below shows that individuals completing high school or less of formal education as well as some college are significantly less likely than college graduates and individuals with college graduate work to rate second-hand cigaretts smoke as harmful to health.

Over 80% of New Mexico's registered voters rate second-hand cigarette smoke as harmful to health.
For a full-color PDF format copy of the ACS Study98 report including graphs and illustrations, click here [82K file size]. To obtain a free PDF reader, visit Adobe's Web site by clicking here.

For more information, please contact the CCAA (505.293.2504) or the New Mexico chapter of the American Cancer Society (505.260.2105).

The CCAA would like thank the New Mexico chapter of the American Cancer Society for providing this important health-related information.

Did you know that:

  • Second-hand smoke is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing an estimated 70,000 nonsmokers every year.
  • Second-hand smoke is a cause of lung cancer and, in those with long term exposure, the increased risk is in the order of 20-30%.
  • Second-hand smoke causes up to 300,000 cases of respiratory infections in U.S. children up to 18 months of age each year.
  • In a five year study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, researchers found that women exposed to second-hand smoke had a threefold higher risk for cervical cancer.
  • Second-hand smoke has been found to be a risk factor for asthma, middle ear infection, bronchitis and pneumonia in children. Among adults, in addition to lung cancer and heart disease, exposure to second-hand smoke has been associated with nasal cancer, exacerbation of cystic fibrosis, decreased lung function and cervical cancer.
  • Second-hand smoke contains over 4,700 chemicals, over 200 poisons, and over 50 human carcinogens. The poisons in cigarette smoke include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and methyl isocyanate. The carcinogens in cigarette smoke include benzo[a]pyrene and NNK, which cause lung cancer; nitrosamines, which cause cancer of the lung, respiratory system, and other organs; aromatic amines, which cause bladder and breast cancer; formaldehyde, which causes nasal cancer; and benzene, which causes leukemia.
  • Over 40,000 studies show that tobacco addiction and second-hand smoke cause disease and death. Some of the groups that disagree include the anti-health money-grubbing tobacco industry and Roger Cox and Associates.


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