Overseas health insurance customers who smoke could be putting their and their children's lives at risk.
This is the warning from the World Health Organisation's researchers, who revealed that 603,000 people, including 165,000 children, die each year from passive smoking.
Second-hand smoke inhalation leads to around one in 100 deaths worldwide, causing conditions such as ischaemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, asthma and lung cancer.
Each illness can result in lengthy stays in hospitals as well as costly medical treatment, which may be a burden on families of sufferers without overseas health insurance.
Writing in the Lancet, the WHO study authors noted that children who die from second-hand smoke inhalation tend to be located in low and middle-income countries, while adult deaths from the same source are spread across all nations.
"Policymakers should bear in mind that enforcing complete smoke-free laws will probably substantially reduce the number of deaths attributable to exposure to second-hand smoke within the first year of its implementation, with accompanying reduction in costs of illness in social and health systems," the researchers added.
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