In the News: Heart attacks drop by 17 per cent after smoking is banned

More dramatic evidence has emerged to show that banning smoking in public places reduces the risk of heart attacks. In Scotland hospital admissions dropped by 17 percent since smoking was banned in public places in Scotland.

The figures compare with an annual reduction of only three percent for the 10 years before the ban was introduced, the Scottish Government said on its website. Research led by Glasgow University showed there were 3,235 people admitted to hospital with heart attacks in the 10 months before the ban took effect, a government spokeswoman said. But in the 10 months after the ban was brought in, there were 2,684 admissions for people with heart attacks, she added.

The research focused on heart attack admissions to nine hospitals, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of all Scottish hospital heart attack admissions. The research was presented in Edinburgh where Scotland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Peter Donnelly said it showed the smoking ban was already producing “significant” public health benefits. “It provides evidence that the legislation is improving the health of everyone in Scotland – including smokers, non-smokers, children and bar workers,” Donnelly told an audience of international health experts.

Scotland was the first country in the United Kingdom to introduce a smoking ban. Wales, Northern Ireland and England followed this year. If the pattern in Scotland was repeated in the UK there would be almost 40,000 fewer heart attacks each year.

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