Smoking Bans

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A study suggests that smoking bans in public places can reduce heart attacks and save lives. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about the research in the 60 Second Housecall.

Even limited exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the odds of heart attacks in people who have heart disease or are at risk. Thats a big reason why smoking bans work.

An Institute of Medicine panel report commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control reported the findings. They concluded that eliminating smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars and other public places is an effective way to protect Americans from the health effects of secondhand smoke, particularly on the cardiovascular system.

Laboratory studies show that even minimal exposure to secondhand smoke can increase blood clotting and constrict blood vessels, two major risk factors for heart attacks.

Wider implementation of laws banning smoking from public places could save lives, researchers say.

Nearly three out of four U.S. adults have at least one major risk factor for heart disease, yet only 40 percent of Americans live in areas with comprehensive state or local laws banning smoking in public places.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.