Smoking ban has big impact on hospital admissions

Study indicates 'smoke-free legislation' could have an immense impact on population throughout the 21st century.

Toronto (14 April 2010) - Public smoking bans are paying off in fewer hospital admissions for heart and lung problems, suggests a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

The study assessed the impact of Toronto's 2001 ban on smoking in restaurants. It found the following changes:

  • A 17% decrease in the heart attack hospitalization rate.
  • A 33% decrease in rates of admission for respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis.
  • A 39% decrease in admissions because of cardiovascular conditions such as angina and stroke.

"Research delineating the impact of smoke-free legislation on cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes could have an immense impact on public health, given that an estimated one billion people are expected to die during the 21st century as a result of tobacco-related disease," study author Dr. Alisa Naiman of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto and her co-authors wrote.

The study concluded that the findings are consistent with evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke is detrimental to health "and legitimizes legislative efforts to further reduce exposure."

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