Friday, January 2, 2009

Heart attacks expected to decline due to Colorado law on smoking

Here is news regarding the impact Colorado's statewide ban on smoking has had:

New evidence in that state suggests that heart attacks will be in sharp decline in Colorado in 2009. A study out of Pueblo, CO (endorsed by Georgia's own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or "CDC") found that hospitalizations for heart attacks continue to fall five years after the city enacted its ban in 2003.

Several cities, including Pueblo, found that heart attacks went down in the 18 months after a smoking ban began. But the new study looked at the next 18 months - a total of three years of data - and found that:

* Hospitalizations for heart attacks fell another 19 percent from early 2004 to mid-2005, after dropping 27 percent in the first 18 months of the ban.

* Hospitalizations in Pueblo County - not including the city - and in neighboring El Paso County were tallied as a way of comparison. Those two counties, which did not have smoking bans at the time, did not show significant changes.

Significantly, this affects those exposed to secondhand smoke. The CDC report notes this: "xposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) has immediate adverse cardiovascular effects, and prolonged exposure can cause coronary heart disease (1). Nine studies have reported that laws making indoor workplaces and public places smoke-free were associated with rapid, sizeable reductions in hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) (2--7)". Source here, the Report from the CDC.

In May 2005 the State of Georgia banned smoking in public places with exemptions for restaurants and bars that do not serve minors, designated hotel rooms and workplaces with separately ventilated rooms for smokers

The most telling statement from that report? This one: In addition to the previous study conducted in the city of Pueblo (3), eight other published studies have reported that smoke-free laws were associated with rapid, sizeable reductions in hospitalizations for AMI.

Could that be good news for the citizens of Georgia? Let's hope so.

Link to Article here.

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