No-smoking law in Colorado casinos led to fewer ambulance calls

When smoking was banned from casinos in Colorado, ambulance calls to casinos in Gilpin County dropped about 20 percent, according to research reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

The drop in calls from casinos was similar to drops in ambulance calls from elsewhere two years earlier when Colorado banned smoking everywhere but casinos.

How did the lead to a reduction in ambulance calls? Partially by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke, said Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., the study's lead author.

"Inhaling secondhand smoke increases the chances of than can block arteries and makes it more difficult for to expand properly, changes that can trigger heart attacks," said Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education and professor of medicine in the division of at the University of California, San Francisco. "The calls may also have decreased due to smokers not being able to smoke in the casinos, thus avoiding the immediate of smoke on their blood and and because some people quit smoking."

For this study, the first to examine the of smoking bans in casinos, researchers focused on the number of ambulance calls in Gilpin County, Colorado, a tourist destination with 26 casinos – the largest concentration in the state.

Smoking was banned from public locations, including workplaces, restaurants and bars in Colorado in 2006, and ambulance calls to those locations went down 22.8 percent. Casinos, however, were exempt from the ban and their ambulance calls remained about the same.

Then, in 2008, smoking was extinguished at the casinos, too, and ambulance calls there dropped by 19.1 percent, while there was no further change at the other facilities.

"The fact that there were changes only at the time the law changed in both venues is strong evidence that the law is what caused the change in ambulance calls," according to Glantz.

"Casinos are often exempted from legislation mandating smoke-free environments, putting employees and patrons at risk for heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks and other adverse events triggered by secondhand smoke," Glantz said. "The message to policymakers is clear: stop granting casino exemptions. They lead to a substantial number of people being sent to the hospital, often at taxpayer expense, something that is completely preventable."

As of spring 2013, 20 states have laws that require smoke-free gambling facilities, while another 28 states have state-regulated gambling but only partial or no smoke-free laws, Glantz said. These laws do not cover casinos on American Indian and Alaska native soil; only a few of those are smoke-free, he said.

"For decades the American Heart Association has strongly supported laws that require indoor public places and workplaces to be smoke-free," said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. "We applaud Colorado lawmakers for protecting casino workers and patrons and encourage more states and Native American tribes to follow suit."

The study did not have information on outcomes of the ambulance calls or detailed information on patients, so researchers could not differentiate events related to smoking or secondhand smoke from other emergencies.

"My advice for people with heart disease is to make your home smoke free and don't visit casinos or other venues with ," Glantz said.

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harleyrider1978
1 / 5 (1) Aug 05, 2013
The Mechanical Engineer with no medical training what so ever tells us a lil smoke will cause a stroke!

In the annalls of medical Junk Science Mr Glantz is the Master second to none except maybe his fallicous claims about SHS/ETS

Low levels of exposure, including exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke, lead to a rapid and sharp increase in endothelial dysfunction and inflammation, which are implicated in acute cardiovascular
events and thrombosis."

And when we move beyond fear mongering by half truths, we realize that a hearty thanksgiving dinner, results in identical effects almost universally.

A big mac, walking from the heat into the cold and a number of other physical activities that require that body to regulate blood flow and heart rate, will also fall into this same category. It is simply your body's natural defense mechanism working splendidly as it should.

And that is the health risk?

harleyrider1978
1 / 5 (1) Aug 05, 2013
Mental Stress Induces Transient Endothelial Dysfunction in Humans

Conclusions—These findings suggest that brief episodes of mental stress, similar to those encountered in everyday life, may cause transient (up to 4 hours) endothelial dysfunction in healthy young individuals. This might represent a mechanistic link between mental stress and atherogenesis."
circ........ahajournals.......org/content/102/20/2473.full

Put anyone who is sufficiently scared by any substance, gas, animal, insect or whatever, in a sealed box with the subject of their distress and you have the result you want.

Suddenly shouting Boo ! behind Stanton the researcher will have a similar effect.
Miramar
1 / 5 (1) Aug 05, 2013
If what Professor Glands and other antismoking activists are claiming about secondhand smoke is correct, that it is such an incredible hazard, then there should be a fleet of ambulances parked at the entrance of every "smoking permitted" casino that provides around-the-clock - 24/7 - ferrying of the "smoke-affected" to nearby hospitals. Why didn't Professor Glands check if there are such ambulance fleets at casinos that permit smoking? If there was such a fleet, he would then have to also be able to distinguish between those requiring an ambulance ride that ar