Second hand smoke (SHS) increases the risk of many diseases: children are especially susceptible. Many New Zealanders are still exposed to SHS despite the progress that has been made in the last ten years in reducing tobacco use. For example, approximately a third of secondary school students live in households with smokers, and 39% of indoor workers are exposed to smoke during working hours (including tea and lunch breaks).
The aim of this report is to estimate the amount of non-fatal illness in New Zealand that is caused by SHS. To do this we have combined measures of the prevalence of exposure with estimates of the increase in relative risk of illness due to SHS and measures of the total burden of illness in New Zealand.