- Mar 2009
The UK has just come up with a study that proves that banning smoking in public places has helped to curb heart disease. Do you think one would be able to evaluate something like that. I would have thought that it could help in a subtle way, but that it has been the overall anti-smoking campaign and getting people to stop smoking that would have made a real impact on the statistics:
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8267523.stmEarlier this month it was announced that heart attack rates fell by about 10% in England in the year after the ban on smoking in public places was introduced in July 2007 - which is more than originally anticipated.
But the latest work, based on the results of numerous different studies collectively involving millions of people, indicated that smoking bans have reduced heart attack rates by as much as 26% per year.
Second-hand smoke is thought to increase the chances of a heart attack by making the blood more prone to clotting, reducing levels of beneficial "good" cholesterol, and raising the risk of dangerous heart rhythms.
Dr James Lightwood, of the University of California at San Francisco, led the Circulation study that pooled together 13 separate analyses.
His team found that heart attack rates across Europe and North America started to drop immediately following implementation of anti-smoking laws, reaching 17% after one year, then continuing to decline over time, with a 36% drop three years after enacting the restrictions.
Dr Lightwood said: "While we obviously won't bring heart attack rates to zero, these findings give us evidence that in the short-to-medium-term, smoking bans will prevent a lot of heart attacks.