A nationwide smoking ban would result in more than 18,000 fewer heart attack hospitalizations in the year following such a ban and millions of dollars in direct cost savings, according to a new study.

Smoking is a well established risk factor for heart attack. Researchers examined the potential impact of a nationwide comprehensive smoking ban legislation on the incidence of hospital admissions for heart attack.

In 2007, 37 states had comprehensive smoking ban laws. According to research on risk reduction from smoking bans, heart attack rates can be reduced by 11 percent after a comprehensive smoking ban.

Researchers found 169,043 hospitalizations for heart attack in the states without comprehensive smoking bans. When they applied the same 11 percent risk reduction to the non-smoking-ban states they found it would result in 18,596 fewer heart attack admissions and more than $92 million in direct cost savings.

Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of comprehensive smoking bans on admission for other diseases, researchers said.

Abstract P84

Karen Astle
American Heart Association

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