The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta attribute approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths every year to second-hand smoke.

A new study suggests that CDC researchers may be mistaken, however.

Researchers at Stanford University discovered during a study of over 75,000 women who smoke that there was no reasonable connection between passive exposure to cigarette smoke and the development of lung cancer.

"The fact that passive smoking may not be strongly associated with lung cancer points to a need to find other risk factors for the disease [in nonsmokers]," Ange Wang, a Stanford University medical student, was quoted as saying while presenting the study at the June 2013 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. E Canada Now learned that the study was also recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The presentation of the team's findings was met with mixed reviews, especially from those who felt that it glossed over the proven health implications of long-term exposure to second-hand smoke.

CDC officials note that around 88 million nonsmokers were exposed to second-hand smoke between 2007 and 2008, and that children between the ages of 3 and 11 were especially at risk of inhaling it.