Heart DiseaseSmoking Cessation

Smoking bans fail to lower heart attack risk

Declines in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction following smoke-free ordinances have been reported in smaller communities.

Researchers at the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, looked at the effect in 6 US states.

First, the details.

  • The mortality rate for heart attacks among people at least 45 years of age during the 3 years before adoption of the smoke-free ordinance (the expected rate) was compared with the rate observed in the first full year after the ban (the target year) in 6 US states.
  • Target-year declines were also compared to those in states without smoking bans.

And, the results.

  • Declines in heart attack mortality in California (2%), Utah (8%) and Delaware (8%) were not significantly different from the expected declines.
  • The South Dakota heart attack mortality rate increased 9%, a significant difference from the 3 years before adoption of the law.
  • Both a 9% decline in Florida and a 12% decline in New York significantly exceeded the expected declines but were not significantly different from the 10% decline that year in the 44 states without bans.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Smoke-free ordinances provide a healthy indoor environment, but their implementation in 6 states had little or no immediate measurable effect on acute myocardial infarction mortality.”

9/15/11 20:32 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.