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One in Four Nonsmokers Exposed to Secondhand Smoke: CDC

One in four American nonsmokers — some 58 million people — still get exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, the CDC reported Tuesday.

One in four American nonsmokers — some 58 million people — still get exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, a known health hazard, the CDC reported Tuesday.

"There is no no safe level of exposure," the agency said.

What's troubling about that continued inhalation of others' tobacco plumes: The collective exposure among Americans actually decreased by half between 1999 and 2012. And, the exposure to children remains high, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In fact, seven in 10 African-American children are regularly exposed, the CDC said.

Nearly 700 cities — plus 26 states and the District of Columbia — have enacted anti-smoking laws covering worksites, restaurants, and bars.

“Although we’ve made significant progress in reducing smoking rates ... some populations are subjected to the deadly impact of tobacco more than others," said Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. "... Secondhand smoke disproportionately affects African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans, who are more likely to work in jobs that have the least amount of protection from smoking — such as service, hospitality and manufacturing industries."

IN-DEPTH:

— Bill Briggs