Magazine article Work & Family Life

Scottish Study Reports Smoking Ban Benefits

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Scottish Study Reports Smoking Ban Benefits

Article excerpt

Public bans on smoking resulted in health benefits smokers - and even more so nonsmokers, according to a sity of Glasgow study reported in New England Journal of Medicine.

In March 2006 Scotland all smoking in enclosed public and workplaces - and in the after the ban, hospital for heart attacks and acute problems were reduced by:

* 14 percent among smokers

* 19 percent among nonsmokers

* 21 percent among people who had never smoked

This was not the first study to connect the dots between bans on smoking and improved health, but it adds "oomph" for its rigor, says Edith Balbach, director of the Community Health Program at Tufts University.

Instead of relying on "self-reporting," the Scottish researchers tested blood and saliva samples from hospital patients for "cotinine," a molecule produced by nicotine metabolism. Its presence classify patients definitively as smokers or nonsmokers who were exposed to secondhand smoke.

Among other findings, levels of cotinine in nonsmokers with heart problems were higher than among the generation population - but lower than they had been before the ban. …

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