Secondhand smoke still a problem for Americans: CDC

Fifty-eight million Americans are still exposed to secondhand smoke, according to a new report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s a proven danger, and exposure rates have been plummeting over the years -- until now. In 1988, 87 percent of people were exposed to secondhand smoke; in 2011 it was only 25 percent. But according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, progress has stalled in recent years. Worse, exposure remains dis proportionally high for some groups: 38 percent of children ages 3 to 11, 48 percent of people living below the poverty line, 73 percent of people living with a smoker, and 30 percent of people without a high school diploma.

These new figures are based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a study designed to evaluate the overall health of Americans. Researchers conducted home interviews and took laboratory samples, looking for serum cotinine -- an indicator of recent nicotine exposure, the...