Canada: Hospital admissions dropped after anti-smoking legislation in place

April 12, 2010

Since the implementation of anti-smoking legislation, hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions have decreased 39% and 33% respectively, found a research article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Previous studies have focused on the impact of public smoking restrictions on cardiovascular outcomes and, in particular, on heart attacks. Few, if any, studies have examined hospital admissions for respiratory conditions in association with the implementation of smoke-free legislation.

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the world. is the third leading cause of preventable poor health and premature death in the developed world.

This 10-year population-based study was conducted to determine the effect of anti-smoking legislation in Toronto, Canada on admissions to hospital for cardiovascular conditions, specifically heart attacks, angina and stroke, and respiratory conditions asthma, emphysema, and pneumonia or bronchitis.

"Research delineating the impact of smoke-free legislation on cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes could have an immense impact on public health, given that an estimated one billion people are expected to die during the 21st century as a result of tobacco-related disease," write Dr. Alisa Naiman, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, University of Toronto and coauthors.

The largest decline in occurred after the 2001 ban of smoking in restaurants. This included a 17% decrease in the crude rate of admission for heart attacks, a 33% decrease in rates of admission for respiratory conditions and a 39% decrease because of cardiovascular conditions.

The authors conclude that their findings "are consistent with the evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke is detrimental to health and legitimizes legislative efforts to further reduce exposure." They suggest further research to determine in what types of settings smoking bans are most effective.

In a related commentary, Prof. Alan Maryon-Davis of Kings College London, United Kingdom, writes that anti-smoking legislation raises the wider issue of how far government should go in using enforcement to help achieve better health. Potential benefits have to be weighed against issues such as infringement of personal liberty and the effect on jobs and livelihoods. Using other examples from tobacco and alcohol control, he argues that comprehensive evidence-based cost-benefit analyses should be undertaken to inform intelligent and unbiased debate.

More information:
www.cmaj.ca/cgi/doi/10.1503/cmaj.091130
www.cmaj.ca/cgi/doi/10.1503/cmaj.100289

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Exercise can make cells healthier, promoting longer life, study finds

September 22, 2017
Whether it's running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing, it's been well-known since ancient times that doing some form of aerobic exercise is essential to good health and well-being. You can lose weight, sleep better, ...

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys, study finds

September 21, 2017
Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to ...

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

September 21, 2017
Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries published this week in The Lancet.

Frequent blood donations safe for some, but not all

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Some people may safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks—but that may not be a healthy choice for all, a new study suggests.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.