Heart attack rate falls after smoking ban

Feb. 27, 2008 at 7:12 PM

PARIS, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Statistics show since a smoking ban took effect in France a year ago, admissions of patients with myocardial infarction dropped 15 percent at emergency wards.

French health authorities told the National Sanitary Institute that there was a 15 percent decrease in admissions of patients with heart attack and stroke to hospitals since the smoking ban in restaurants, hotels and casinos was implemented last January

David Thomas of the European Society of Cardiology and a senior cardiologist in the Centre Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris said that there is a wealth of data linking smoking and cardiovascular disease.

"Although further studies are needed all over France to confirm the strong decrease in smoking related deaths over time, these statistics show the same tendency professionals have already observed in Italy, Ireland and Scotland when these countries introduced their own bans on tobacco," Thomas said in a statement.

"To me, the most striking aspect in this study is the reduction of pollution inside cafes and restaurants by over 35 percent. Passive smoking has been shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and the recent smoking ban is obviously having a beneficial effect on both smokers and non-smokers."

The findings were presented by the National Sanitary Institute.

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