Smoking ban linked to cut in heart attacks & strokes

The smoking ban may have helped cut hospital admissions for heart attack and stroke, according to an Irish study.1

The research, which was carried out by the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, examined the impact the smoking ban has had on 21 countries, including England and Scotland. It particularly found a decrease in hospital admissions amongst non-smokers, who are no longer exposed to smoke in public spaces.

Researchers examined a total of 77 studies, examining the effect of the ban on areas such as cardiovascular health, respiratory health (conditions such as asthma), the health of newborn babies and the number of deaths from smoking-related diseases.

However, while the evidence suggested positive results in almost every area, it is difficult to know for sure whether the smoking ban is directly linked to the results of the study. For example, researchers may have found a cut in heart attacks thanks to a ban of trans fats in certain countries. It is also important to point out that the study didn't suggest the number of people smoking was dropping, either.

With that that said, even if the only result of the smoking ban is to protect non-smokers from suffering ill-health by being exposed to harmful passive smoking, it is still a positive result.

Reference

1 Frazer K, Callinan JE, McHugh J et al. Legislative smoking bans for reducing harms from secondhand smoke exposure, smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Published online February 4 2016.

Headlines

Smoking ban sees 40 per cent cut in heart attacks in UK since 2007 law was introduced. The Telegraph, February 4 2016

Smoking bans reduce harm from passive smoking, study finds. The Guardian, February 4 2016

Heart attack rates have fallen by 42 per cent since the smoking ban in 2007. The Sun, February 4 2016

Ban has helped save the lives of passive smokers: Number of heart disease cases has dropped 'significantly' following introduction of laws. Mail Online, February 4 2016