Smoking Bans Decrease Rate Of Heart Attack

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(VIDEO: Associated Press)

EDITOR’S NOTE: A recent population-based study done by the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota showed substantial decline in the incidence of heart attack after smoke-free laws were implemented.  In the excerpted article below, MedpageToday reports on the details of the study, which appeared online in the Archives of Internal Medicine last week.

Lead researcher, Dr. Richard Hurt and colleagues state, “As trends in other risk factors do not appear explanatory, smoke-free workplace laws seem to be ecologically related to these favorable trends. Secondhand smoke exposure should be considered a modifiable risk factor for MI (heart attack). All people should avoid secondhand smoke to the extent possible, and people with coronary heart disease should have no exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Based on their findings the researchers wrote: “Moving forward, we should prioritize the enforcement of smoke-free policies, eliminating loopholes in existing policies as well as encouraging expansion of smoke-free policies to include multi-unit housing, motor vehicles, casinos, and outdoor locations.”

Besides significantly decreased exposure to secondhand smoke, the study also cites a decline in smoking prevalence among adults, which coincides with the smoking bans in public places.

Bottom Line: Don’t smoke, avoid places where people do, and strongly encourage those around you to do the same.

MedPageToday–Indoor smoking bans substantially cut heart attack rates in communities and may have an impact on sudden cardiac death as well, a population-based study showed.

Since 2000, more than half of U.S. states have enacted laws to restrict indoor smoking. 

Myocardial infarction (hart attack) incidence dropped 33% after implementation of ordinances banning smoking in restaurants and the workplace, Richard D. Hurt, MD, of the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues found.

Other than the expected decline in smoking prevalence from making it less convenient, cardiovascular risk factors remained largely stable in the population there, supporting an effect of the bans themselves, they pointed out.

CLICK HERE to read the complete story on MedPageToday.