WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- In the year after smoke-free legislation was introduced in England, there were 1,200 fewer emergency heart attack hospital admissions -- a 2.4 percent decrease, a new study shows.
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The smoke-free law, enacted on July 1, 2007, prohibits smoking in all public places and enclosed workplaces. The researchers analyzed emergency department admissions for patients aged 18 and older from July 2002 to September 2008.
While the decrease may seem small, many public places and workplaces were already smoke-free when the legislation was introduced, the researchers noted.
The study appears online June 9 in the BMJ.
The findings show that banning smoking in public places can reduce hospital admissions for heart attacks even in countries that already have other anti-smoking regulations. This can have an important public health benefit given the high rates of heart disease worldwide, said Dr. Anna Gilmore, University of Bath, and colleagues, in a BMJ news release.
-- Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: British Medical Journal, June 9, 2010, news release