DENVER, May 18 (UPI) -- Emergency room admissions due to respiratory illness dropped significantly in Ireland after a workplace smoking ban was enacted, researchers say.
Study leader Dr. Imran Sulaiman, pulmonology resident at Galway University Hospitals in Ireland, says a workplace smoking ban was implemented in Ireland in March 2004 and the researchers compared hospital admissions prior to and after the smoking ban.
"We saw a significant reduction in emergency admissions due to cardiopulmonary disease with a trend towards reduced respiratory illness admissions," Sulaiman, who completed the study while a resident at Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin, says in a statement. "The most pronounced reduction in admissions was in the 20- to 29-year-old age group."
The study also found a significant reduction in asthma-related admissions and acute coronary syndrome.
"We already know the disastrous effects smoking has on our health," Sulaiman says. "This study further proves that the implementation of a workplace smoking ban improves general health and also reduces hospital burden by respiratory illness, one of the most common illnesses to present to the emergency services."
The findings were presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Denver.