Smoking bans ‘cut heart attacks’

Studies from the journals Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiologyans show that the ban on smoking in public places have had a bigger impact on preventing heart attacks than ever expected, data shows. Smoking bans cut the number of heart attacks in Europe and North America by up to a third, the two studies report. This “heart gain” is far greater than both originally anticipated and the 10% figure recently quoted by England′s Department of Health. While we obviously won′t bring heart attack rates to zero, these findings give us evidence that in the short-to-medium-term, smoking bans will prevent a lot of heart attacks. This study adds to the already strong evidence that second-hand smoke causes heart attacks, and that passing 100% smoke-free laws in all workplaces and public places is something we can do to protect the public.

Ellen Mason, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “These studies add to the growing evidence that a ban on smoking in public places seems to have a positive impact on heart attack rates, which is clearly good news for our nation′s heart health. The statistics also show how quickly the benefits can be felt after a smoking ban is implemented and indicate how dangerous second-hand smoke can be to the heart. If you are a smoker, the single biggest thing you can do to avoid a heart attack is to give up, which could also protect the heart health of friends and family.

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