(WMBF) - Nearly 60 million people are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Exposure remains higher among children, blacks and those who live in poverty, and those who live in rental housing, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
"Secondhand smoke can kill. Too many Americans, and especially too many American children, are still exposed to it," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "That 40 percent of children -- including seven in 10 black children -- are still exposed shows how much more we have to do to protect everyone from this preventable health hazard."
Despite the 58 million people exposed to SHS, that number is actually on the decline, the report states.
The report credits the overall decline in SHS exposure to several factors.
To date, 26 states, the District of Columbia, and almost 700 cities have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws prohibiting smoking in worksites, restaurants, and bars. These state and local laws currently cover almost half the US population.
In addition, a growing number of households have adopted voluntary smoke-free home rules, increasing from 43 percent in 1992-1993 to 83 percent in 2010-2011.
Also, cigarette smoking has declined significantly in the last two decades and smoking around nonsmokers has become much less socially acceptable.