Smoke-Free Laws Reduce Heart Attacks, Stroke and Asthma
Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco states that the ban on smoking in public places has shown a dramatic impact on health and its associated medical costs. This observation is based on research that shows the reduction in hospitalizations from conditions like strokes, heart attacks and asthma associated with smoking.
Glantz and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis which reviewed 45 studies that investigated on smoke-free laws in countries around the world, including the United States, New Zealand, Germany and others. In their study they found that in 33 places where smoking was banned, there was a significant reduction in hospital admissions for heart attacks, asthma and stroke. The largest fall in hospitalization rates was observed in places with the most restrictive laws which banned smoking even in offices, restaurants and bars, suggesting that more comprehensive laws had greater impact on health. The results of this study were recently published in the journal Circulation.
Danny McGoldrick, research director at Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids believes that the study adds evidence that smoke-free laws can save lives and that smoking should be banned in all public places without any exception.
Another new study which confirms the importance of smoke-free legislation was recently published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, where researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., report that the incidence of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths dropped significantly in a Minnesota county 18 months after a smoke-free law was enacted compared to the 18 months before its implementation.
Reinberg, S. Smoking Bans Reduce Hospitalizations: Study. HealthDay.