Introduction: The objective of this study was to assess the mortality attributable to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure among never-smokers in Spain in 2011, after the implementation of the Spanish smoking law.
Methods: Data on SHS exposure were obtained from a computer-assisted telephone survey carried out in a representative sample of the adult Spanish population. We included the two main diseases widely associated with SHS exposure: lung cancer and ischaemic heart disease. The relative risks for these diseases were selected from previously published meta-analyses. The number of deaths attributable to SHS was calculated by applying the population attributable fraction to mortality not attributable to active smoking in 2011. The analyses were stratified by sex, age and setting of exposure (home, workplace, and both combined). In addition, a sensitivity analysis was performed for distinct scenarios.
Results: In 2011, a total of 586 deaths in men and 442 deaths in women would be attributable to SHS exposure. The total number of deaths from lung cancer attributable to SHS exposure would be 124, while the total number of deaths from ischaemic heart disease would be 904. The inclusion of ex-smokers or SHS exposure in leisure time in the study would considerably increase the total number of attributable deaths (by 20% and 130%, respectively).
Conclusions: The total number of deaths attributable to SHS exposure at home and at work in Spain would be 1028 in 2011. Efforts are still needed to reduce the current prevalence of exposure-mainly due to exposure in nonregulated settings such as homes or cars and some outdoor spaces-and the associated morbidity and mortality.
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