Passive smoking leads to one per cent of deaths around the world.
This is according to recent research headed by the World Health Organisation's Tobacco-Free Initiative in Geneva and published in the Lancet.
The study found that around 603,000 deaths a year globally are the result of passive smoking, 165,000 of whom are children.
Indeed, the report estimated that 40 per cent of children, 33 per cent of male non-smokers and 35 per cent of female non-smokers are subjected to passive smoking.
Betty McBride, policy and communications director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Breathing in other people's tobacco smoke has deadly consequences.
"This study is ample proof that we were right to introduce the ban on smoking in public places in this country."
Deaths from passive smoking were as a result of ischaemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, asthma and lung cancer.
Mr McBride added that the figures should encourage the government to "go further" with its anti-smoking policies and that it should also encourage smokers to "stop and think about the impact they're having on other people's health, particularly children."
© Adfero Ltd
Cancer treatment news : 30 November 2010