Sep 17, 2010

Smoking bans have immediate benefits to health

We already know the health damage caused by secondhand smoke and the immediate positive effects of a workplace smoking ban like the one enacted in May in Michigan, but just for good measure, a study in Scotland that looked at asthma-related hospitalizations of kids found that smoke-free laws have even greater health benefits than previously believed.

The results of the new study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this week that looked at asthma-related hospitalizations of kids, and they found that the rate fell 13 percent a year after smoking was barred in 2006 from workplaces and public buildings, including bars and restaurants.

According to the AP story, “earlier U.S. studies, in Arizona and Kentucky, reached similar conclusions. But this was the largest study of its kind -- and offered the strongest case that smoking bans can bring immediate health improvements for many people.”

We already know that other studies have shown an immediate the decline in adult heart attack rates after smoking bans were adopted, but this study showed cigarette smoke is a trigger for asthma attacks.

With all of this proof, we need to eliminate the exceptions to the smoking ban, like in the non-Native American casinos.


Anonymous said...

2000: 2391/366 = 6.53 per day

2001: 2142/365 = 5.87 per day

2002: 2034/365 = 5.57 per day

2003: 1803/365 = 4.94 per day

2004: 2621/366 = 7.16 per day

2005: 2103/365 = 5.76 per day

2006: 2633/365 = 7.21 per day

2007: 2056/365 = 5.63 per day

2008: 2235/366 = 6.11 per day

2009: 1397/304 = 4.59 per day

Plotting all this on a graph, we can see that childhood asthma rates were not rising before the ban and the only evidence for even a vague drop since the ban comes from the incomplete ten-month 'year' of 2009—several years after the ban came in. And, again, we can see that the peak year for asthma hospitalisations came in 2006—the very year that the smoking ban came into effect, which—by the logic of the study—should have seen a large drop in admissions.

Shantel said...

You can also reduce pollution in the air if you use smokeless cigarettes like e-cigs.