Smoking Bans Blamed For 36% Drop In Heart Attacks


REUTERS: Smoking bans in public places can reduce the number of heart attacks by as much as 36 percent, offering fresh proof that the restrictions work, U.S. researchers said on Monday. They urged widespread bans on smoking in enclosed public places to prevent heart attacks and improve public health. “This study adds to the already strong evidence that secondhand smoke causes heart attacks, and that passing 100 percent smoke-free laws in all workplaces and public places is something we can do to protect the public,” James Lightwood of the University of California-San Francisco, whose study appears in the journal Circulation, said in a statement. The team pooled data from 13 studies of smoking bans in communities in the United States, Canada and Europe. They said heart attack rates fall immediately after smoking bans are put in place, dropping by 17 percent in the first year and by as much as 36 percent after three years. MORE

RELATED: New York City officials are the latest to consider banning smoking in their parks and outside space. coffeecigarettesa_working_mans_death_1.JPGHaving driven smokers outside their workplaces and enclosed public places, city authorities are considering limiting the options for a quick puff. The possibility of extending smokefree legislation was outlined in a public health policy document (pdf). However the mayor, Michael Bloomberg – who has championed anti-smoking programmes but is up for re-election – appeared to qualify the extent of the restrictions. He wanted “to see if smoking in parks has a negative impact on people’s health”, the New York Times reported today, suggesting it “might not be logistically possible to enforce a ban across thousands of acres”. MORE

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