CDC: Heart attacks drop after smoking ban

Dec. 31, 2008 at 1:23 PM
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ATLANTA, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Heart attack hospital admissions in the city of Pueblo, Colo., fell sharply after a municipal smoking ban, federal health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found there were 399 hospital admissions for heart attacks in Pueblo in the 18 months before the city′s smoke-free ordinance took effect on July 1, 2003, compared to 237 heart attack hospitalizations in the similar period from 18 months to three years after this date -- a decline of 41 percent.

Nine published studies have reported that laws making indoor workplaces and public places smoke-free were associated with sizable, rapid reductions in hospital admissions for heart attacks. However, most of these studies looked at only a year or less of data after the implementation of smoke-free laws, the report said.

This three-year study suggests the initial reduction in heart attack hospitalizations observed after a smoke-free law takes effect is sustained over an extended period. Smoke-free laws likely reduce heart attack hospitalizations both by reducing secondhand smoke exposure among non-smokers and by reducing smoking, with the first factor making the larger contribution, the report said.

Researchers also looked at two nearby areas that had not implemented smoke-free ordinances and found no significant decline in heart attack hospitalizations during the same time periods.

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