October 16, 2009

Public smoking bans reduce heart attacks for everyone

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rita_hibbardwebHere’s something good for your Friday: Those public smoking bans? They not only clear the air and humiliate your smoking co-workers by forcing them to huddle under doorways like the bad kids in high school, but they reduce heart attacks for everyone.

In news that will no doubt reinforce efforts to strengthen and spread the bans — now in place in 21 states and the District of Columbia – a report issued by the National Institute of Medicine says that the bans on public smoking and smoking in the workplace reduce deaths by second hand smoke, reports Thomas Maugh of the Los Angeles Times.

“The panel examined 11 studies of heart attacks in areas where bans were implemented and found a decrease in heart attacks in every study, ranging from a low of 6 percent to a high of 47 percent, depending on how the study was conducted.

About 440,000 Americans die each year from smoking related illnesses, including about 38,000 from illness brought on by second-hand smoke.

— Rita Hibbard

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