Jan 1, 2009
Another scientific study proves the wisdom of indoor smoking bans
If you needed anymore proof that indoor smoking bans are good for the health of nonsmokers and smokers alike, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the results of an extensive report that said heart attack hospitalizations in the city of Pueblo, Colo. fell sharply after the implementation of a municipal law making workplaces and public places smoke-free.
Numerous reports have shown that laws making indoor workplaces and public places smoke-free were associated with sizable, rapid reductions in hospital admissions for heart attacks. But none of the nine published reports were as extensive or for as long as the Pueblo study and they looked at only a year or less of data after the implementation of smoke-free laws. This study looked at the decline of heart attack hospitalizations over a three year period; a 41 percent decrease.
The report found smoke-free laws likely reduce heart attack hospitalizations both by reducing secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers and by reducing smoking, but the reduction of secondhand smoke was the largest factor. To erase any doubt that it was smoke-free laws that reduced heart attack hospitalizations, 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.
“We know that exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on people's cardiovascular systems, and that prolonged exposure to it can cause heart disease in nonsmoking adults,” said Janet Collins, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in the press release announcing the results. “This study adds to existing evidence that smoke-free policies can dramatically reduce illness and death from heart disease.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the nation's premier public health agency; working to ensure healthy people in a healthy world. The CDC is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and it is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting public health activities in the United States. CDC’s focus is not only on scientific excellence but also on the essential spirit that is CDC – to protect the health of all people.
Michigan’s workplace smoking ban died in the conference committee tasked to work out a compromise between the Senate passed version and the House passed version as the 94th Legislature ended on Tuesday, but it will be reintroduced when the 95th Legislature convenes on Jan, 14.