Chukwuma Okereke, Data Extraction Analyst, IHME Tobacco Metrics Team
Transcript has been lightly edited for clarity
IHME surveyed 13 countries around the world to get a sense of what their household smoking policies were. We found that in households that had at least one daily smoker, over 60% of these households allowed smoking inside. And for households that had children, this percentage didn’t change that much. This is especially worrisome because women and children are amongst the most exposed to secondhand smoke. In addition to women and children, low-income communities and minorities also face increased risk of secondhand smoke exposure due to a variety of factors, and they also have a unique double burden as they’ve been identified as having increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and facing more severe symptoms. As secondhand smoke exposure weakens the immune system, it’s especially important that we protect against it during this time while we’re all still fighting another respiratory virus with COVID-19.