Sunday 19 November 2017

Smoking bans save passive smokers

Picture posed. PA
Picture posed. PA

The ban on smoking indoors in public places "has helped save the lives of passive smokers", according to new Irish research.

The study, which was carried out by University College Dublin, follows a review of smoking bans in 21 countries, including Ireland.

It found fewer admissions to hospitals for heart attacks and strokes following smoking bans.

However, the bans didn't appear to encourage more people to stop smoking.

Some studies included in the review found a bigger reduction in heart attacks and strokes among non-smokers - who are no longer exposed to smoke in public places - than smokers, who are still exposed to their own smoke.

The difficulty with research into smoking bans is that you can't carry out the "gold standard" of research: a randomised controlled trial.

There are already trends in hospital admissions for heart attacks before and after a ban is introduced.

The study, led by Professor Cecily Kelleher, examined 77 studies from 21 countries with smoking bans and found a general reduction in hospital admissions for heart disease.

Among the evidence cited was a study showing that heart attack admissions in Liverpool fell by 42pc in the first five years of the ban.

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