Smoking bans cut premature births and childhood asthma attacks

Banning smoking in public places has helped to cut premature births by 10 per cent, new research shows.

The study of data from parts of North America and Europe where have been introduced also showed a 10 per cent fall in hospital attendance for childhood asthma attacks.

The findings reveal that the impact of anti-smoking laws varies between countries but overall the effect on around the world is very positive.

Laws that prohibit smoking in , such as bars, restaurants and work places, are already proven to protect adults from the health threats associated with .

This is the first comprehensive study to look at how anti-smoking laws in different countries and areas are affecting the health of children living in those regions. It is published today in the journal The Lancet.

Less than one sixth of the world's population is currently protected by anti-smoking laws. As a result, 40 per cent of children around the world are regularly exposed to second hand smoke, which claims an estimated 160,000 young lives each year and causes significantly more disability.

Passive smoking can cause babies to be stillborn or born prematurely and is linked to birth defects, asthma and lung infections. Studies have also suggested that being exposed to second hand smoke during childhood may have implications, contributing to the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes in later life.

The study was led by the University of Edinburgh together with researchers from Maastricht University, Hasselt University, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. The researchers looked at over 2.5 million births and almost 250,000 hospital attendances for asthma attacks.

Lead researcher, Dr Jasper Been of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Population Health Sciences, said: "Our research shows that smoking bans are an effective way to protect the health of our children. These findings should help to accelerate the introduction of anti-smoking legislation in areas not currently protected."

Professor Aziz Sheikh, Co-Director of the Centre for Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, said: "This research has demonstrated the very considerable potential that smoke-free legislation offers to reduce preterm births and childhood . The many countries that are yet to enforce smoke-free legislation should in the light of these findings reconsider their positions on this important health policy question."

More information: www.thelancet.com/journals/lan… (14)60082-9/abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smoke-free air policies seem to protect the heart

Mar 27, 2014

A new study on the impact of Michigan's statewide smoking ban adds to mounting evidence that policies prohibiting tobacco smoking in workplaces and other public spaces may substantially improve public health by reducing heart ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

22 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Returners
not rated yet Mar 27, 2014
Banning smoking in public places has helped to cut premature births by 10 per cent, new research shows.
The study of data from parts of North America and Europe where smoking bans have been introduced also showed a 10 per cent fall in hospital attendance for childhood asthma attacks.


Full ban please.