Saturday 20 October 2018

More than 3,700 smoking related deaths prevented due to ban

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Thinkstock

Eilish O’Regan Health Correspondent

MORE than 3,700 deaths have been prevented in Ireland since the introduction of the smoking ban in March 2004, according to a new study.

The study found 3,726 smoking-related deaths in total were avoided because people are less exposed to second hand smoke.

Prof Luke Clancy, Director of the Tobacco Free Research Institute Ireland said: “Previous studies have shown decreases in cardiovascular mortality following the implementation of comprehensive smoking bans.

“Ireland became the first country in the world to implement a comprehensive national workplace smoking ban in March 2004 and it is important to establish that there are significant health benefits.

“Our study shows that mortality decreases were primarily due to reductions in passive smoking, rather than a reduction in active smoking, and we remember that this (protection from passive smoke) was the basis for the introduction of the 2004 legislation."

The findings in the new scientific are paper published this week on Plos One and follow research by Brunel University, London, The Environmental Health Sciences Institute, Dublin Institute of Technology, and the Tobacco Free Research Institute.

Prof Clancy pointed out the study now shows a 26pc reduction in heart disease, a 32pc fall in stroke and a 38pc drop in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mortality.

He added: “The national Irish smoking ban was associated with immediate reductions in early mortality. Importantly, post ban risk differences did not change with a longer follow-up period.

“This study corroborates previous evidence for cardiovascular causes, and is the first study to demonstrate reductions in stroke and respiratory causes.”

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