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Heart attack rates fall following national smoking bans
Date:2/26/2008

French researchers announced a striking 15% decrease in admissions of patients with myocardial infarction to emergency wards since the public ban on smoking came into effect in restaurants, hotels and casinos in France last January. The announcement was made on 23 February by the National Sanitary Institute. Similar results were published in Italy on 12 February by the Environmental Health Authority: researchers in Rome found an 11.2 percent reduction of acute coronary events since the January 2005 smoking ban took effect in Italy.

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) wishes to stress the positive impact of smoking bans in all European countries that have adopted laws banning tobacco use in public places.

There is a wealth of data linking smoking and cardiovascular disease (CVD), stated Prof David Thomas, of the European Society of Cardiology and a Senior Cardiologist in the Centre Hospitalier Piti- Salptrire in Paris. Although further studies are needed all over France to confirm the strong decrease in smoking related deaths over time, these statistics show the same tendency professionals have already observed in Italy, Ireland and Scotland when these countries introduced their own bans on tobacco. To me, the most striking aspect in this study is the reduction of pollution inside cafs and restaurants by over 35%. Passive smoking has been shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and the recent smoking ban is obviously having a beneficial effect on both smokers and non-smokers.

The European Society of Cardiology together with other health institutions has continuously informed the public of the overwhelming evidence of the adverse effect of smoking on cardiovascular health. The European Guidelines on CVD prevention warn that smoking is responsible for 50% of all avoidable deaths and that smoking causes heart attacks at any age. Data produced by Prof Pekka Jousilahti from Finland at the ESCs EuroPrevent Congress in 20
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Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu
jpartarrieu@escardio.org
33-492-948-627
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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