Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Banning Smoking In Public Places And Workplaces Is Good For The Heart, Study Finds

Date:
September 22, 2009
Source:
American College of Cardiology
Summary:
Public smoking bans appear to significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, particularly among younger individuals and nonsmokers, according to a new study. Researchers find that smoking bans can reduce the number of heart attacks by as much as 26 percent per year.

Public smoking bans appear to significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, particularly among younger individuals and nonsmokers, according to a new study published in the September 29, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers find that smoking bans can reduce the number of heart attacks by as much as 26 percent per year.

"Even breathing in low doses of cigarette smoke can increase one's risk of heart attack," said David Meyers, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Cardiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine and lead investigator of the study, which is the most comprehensive analysis of related studies to date. "Public smoking bans seem to be tremendously effective in reducing heart attack and, theoretically, might also help to prevent lung cancer and emphysema, diseases that develop much more slowly than heart attacks. The cardiac benefits increased with longer ban duration."

According to projections by the authors, a nationwide ban on public smoking could prevent as many as 154,000 heart attacks each year. These findings are particularly important in light of mounting evidence that second-hand smoke exposure is nearly as harmful to the heart as chronic active smoking. Direct smoking doubles the risk of heart attack. Second hand smoke increases the risk by 30 percent.

"Interestingly, public smoking bans had a stronger effect in reducing heart attacks among women and younger individuals, which may be explained, in part, because younger people tend to frequent clubs, restaurants and bars where smoking is a likely part of the social scene," said Dr. Meyers. "Heavily exposed people like those working in the entertainment or hospitality industries are likely to accrue the greatest benefit from smoking bans."

Dr. Meyers adds that smoking remains the leading preventable risk factor for heart attack. Secondhand smoke is thought to increase the likelihood of a heart attack by making the blood "sticky" and more prone to clotting, reducing the amount of "good" (HDL) cholesterol in the body, and putting individuals at greater risk for dangerous heart rhythms, among other factors.

The good news is that the beneficial effects of smoking bans appear to be fairly immediate, with declines in reported heart attack cases within 3 months. The impact of bans was strengthened if compliance was good, if baseline smoking prevalence was low and if air quality was good.

"Several years ago, the idea that secondhand smoke was harmful to the heart was a theory and one with some controversy attached, but this article moves us from the theoretical to fact and to practice. The reduction in heart attacks associated with public smoking bans is a big deal," said Steven Schroeder, M.D., director, Smoking Cessation Leadership Center University of California, San Francisco. "While cardiologists routinely screen for lipid disorders and high blood pressure, they also need to become vigilant about asking patients about tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure and provide counseling as needed."

Drs. Meyers and Schroeder encourage clinicians to support community smoking bans and other tobacco control measures including tax increases on cigarettes, expanded cessation services including telephone quitlines and educational campaigns. So far, bans on smoking in public places and workplaces have been instituted in 32 states and many cities across the country. As the United States increasingly institutes policies to protect nonsmokers from second hand smoke, authors say these efforts will yield great public health benefits in the form of reduced disease, disability and deaths.

The researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of 10 reports from 11 geographic locations in the United States (MT, CO, NY, IN, OH), Canada and Europe to compare the rates of heart attacks before and after public smoking bans were instituted. Collectively, the studies involved 24 million people and observations of the effect of the bans ranged from two months to three years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Cardiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American College of Cardiology. "Banning Smoking In Public Places And Workplaces Is Good For The Heart, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921173121.htm>.
American College of Cardiology. (2009, September 22). Banning Smoking In Public Places And Workplaces Is Good For The Heart, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921173121.htm
American College of Cardiology. "Banning Smoking In Public Places And Workplaces Is Good For The Heart, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921173121.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins