Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - It's a known fact that second-hand smoke contributes to serious illnesses that can prove fatal.
A new study shows that one ethnic group is more at risk than all others.
In 2006, more than 42,000 Americans died of second-hand-smoking-related diseases. Almost 900 of them were infants.
In a report in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers analyzed data from some 13,000 patients about deaths related to second-hand smoke.
By comparing racial groups, they found that African-American males had the highest rate of exposure to second-hand smoke – 64 percent – followed by black women with a 62 percent exposure rate.
Among the infants who died from second-hand smoke, between 24 and 36 percent were African-American. Their mothers smoked during pregnancy.
Social and economic factors also put black children at greater risk, especially at home.
The study concluded that the effect of second-hand smoke on African-Americans amount to hundreds of thousands of years of life lost in addition to billions of dollars in productivity.