New Study Links Smoke-Free Ordinances to Fewer Heart Attacks

Researchers Present New Evidence of Smoke-Free Laws Improving Public Health at

National Medical Conference



Nov 14, 2005, 00:00 ET from The Pueblo City-County Health Department

    PUEBLO, Colo., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Heart attack rates in Pueblo,
 Colo., dropped by nearly 30 percent after the city passed a smoke-free
 ordinance, according to a new study released today at the American Heart
 Association's Scientific Sessions, a premier peer-reviewed conference, in
 Dallas.  The study validates previous scientific evidence that indoor
 smoke-free laws can dramatically reduce heart attacks and means that 108 fewer
 people had heart attacks in Pueblo in an 18-month period.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051114/LAM013 )
     Pueblo is a community of about 104,000 located 110 miles south of Denver.
 The city passed its smoke-free law in 2003, restricting smoking in almost all
 businesses and indoor areas open to the public, including bars, restaurants,
 bowling alleys and bingo halls that are within city limits.
     Only one other study to date has evaluated the impact of smoke-free laws
 on public health.  As a result, physician researchers from Pueblo and Denver
 sought to replicate a groundbreaking 2003 study done in Helena, Mont., that
 showed restrictions on public exposure to secondhand smoke caused a sharp
 decline in heart attacks.
     A goal of the Pueblo study was to see whether the Helena study's findings
 were unique to that community or if they could be the basis of broader
 evidence that links smoke-free ordinances to a reduction in heart attack
 rates.  The Pueblo study affirmed that such laws can cause a dramatic
 improvement in public health, within even the first few months.  Pueblo's
 study reinforces the Helena findings based on similar but improved
 methodology, including a sample size three times larger than the one used in
 Helena.
     Researchers evaluated the number of heart attacks in Pueblo during a
 three-year period from January 2002 to December 2004.  This timeframe covered
 the year and a half before the city's Smoke-Free Air Act was passed on July 1,
 2003, as well as a year and a half afterward.
     In the year and a half before Pueblo's smoke-free ordinance went into
 effect, 399 heart attack patients were admitted to the city's two primary
 hospitals.  In the year and a half following enactment of the ordinance, the
 number of heart attack admissions dropped to 291, representing a 27 percent
 decrease.
     The study didn't distinguish between smokers and nonsmokers, but rather
 represented a combination of both smokers and those impacted by secondhand
 smoke.
     "We're adding to a growing body of evidence showing that indoor smoke-free
 environments have the potential to rapidly improve a community's overall
 health, while drastically reducing the number of people having heart attacks,"
 said Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, director of the Pueblo City-County Health
 Department.  "With so many communities around the country considering
 smoke-free laws, this study provides important knowledge that people can be
 healthier if secondhand smoke is removed from public places."
     Nevin-Woods collaborated with several other researchers on the Pueblo
 heart study.
     "We already know that tobacco smoke does harm to nonsmokers, most notably
 to their cardiovascular systems," added Dr. Mori Krantz, a cardiologist and
 director of prevention programs at the Colorado Prevention Center, who led the
 scientific analysis of the Pueblo data.  "This study further validates the
 argument that limiting exposure to deadly tobacco smoke can save lives."
     Each year, more than 440,000 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses.
 About 53,000 people die from the effects of exposure to secondhand smoke;
 49,000 of these are nonsmokers who die from coronary heart disease.
     "Colorado has a long history of being one of the healthiest states in the
 nation," said Karen DeLeeuw, director of Colorado's State Tobacco Education
 and Prevention Partnership.  "Citizens living in communities that support
 reducing exposure to secondhand smoke are now further protected from the
 devastation of a heart attack."
     The study's researchers included Dr. Nick Alsever, an endocrinologist and
 vice president for medical affairs at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo; Dr.
 Carl E. Bartecchi, clinical professor of medicine at the University of
 Colorado School of Medicine; Krantz; and Nevin-Woods.
 
 

SOURCE The Pueblo City-County Health Department
    PUEBLO, Colo., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Heart attack rates in Pueblo,
 Colo., dropped by nearly 30 percent after the city passed a smoke-free
 ordinance, according to a new study released today at the American Heart
 Association's Scientific Sessions, a premier peer-reviewed conference, in
 Dallas.  The study validates previous scientific evidence that indoor
 smoke-free laws can dramatically reduce heart attacks and means that 108 fewer
 people had heart attacks in Pueblo in an 18-month period.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051114/LAM013 )
     Pueblo is a community of about 104,000 located 110 miles south of Denver.
 The city passed its smoke-free law in 2003, restricting smoking in almost all
 businesses and indoor areas open to the public, including bars, restaurants,
 bowling alleys and bingo halls that are within city limits.
     Only one other study to date has evaluated the impact of smoke-free laws
 on public health.  As a result, physician researchers from Pueblo and Denver
 sought to replicate a groundbreaking 2003 study done in Helena, Mont., that
 showed restrictions on public exposure to secondhand smoke caused a sharp
 decline in heart attacks.
     A goal of the Pueblo study was to see whether the Helena study's findings
 were unique to that community or if they could be the basis of broader
 evidence that links smoke-free ordinances to a reduction in heart attack
 rates.  The Pueblo study affirmed that such laws can cause a dramatic
 improvement in public health, within even the first few months.  Pueblo's
 study reinforces the Helena findings based on similar but improved
 methodology, including a sample size three times larger than the one used in
 Helena.
     Researchers evaluated the number of heart attacks in Pueblo during a
 three-year period from January 2002 to December 2004.  This timeframe covered
 the year and a half before the city's Smoke-Free Air Act was passed on July 1,
 2003, as well as a year and a half afterward.
     In the year and a half before Pueblo's smoke-free ordinance went into
 effect, 399 heart attack patients were admitted to the city's two primary
 hospitals.  In the year and a half following enactment of the ordinance, the
 number of heart attack admissions dropped to 291, representing a 27 percent
 decrease.
     The study didn't distinguish between smokers and nonsmokers, but rather
 represented a combination of both smokers and those impacted by secondhand
 smoke.
     "We're adding to a growing body of evidence showing that indoor smoke-free
 environments have the potential to rapidly improve a community's overall
 health, while drastically reducing the number of people having heart attacks,"
 said Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, director of the Pueblo City-County Health
 Department.  "With so many communities around the country considering
 smoke-free laws, this study provides important knowledge that people can be
 healthier if secondhand smoke is removed from public places."
     Nevin-Woods collaborated with several other researchers on the Pueblo
 heart study.
     "We already know that tobacco smoke does harm to nonsmokers, most notably
 to their cardiovascular systems," added Dr. Mori Krantz, a cardiologist and
 director of prevention programs at the Colorado Prevention Center, who led the
 scientific analysis of the Pueblo data.  "This study further validates the
 argument that limiting exposure to deadly tobacco smoke can save lives."
     Each year, more than 440,000 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses.
 About 53,000 people die from the effects of exposure to secondhand smoke;
 49,000 of these are nonsmokers who die from coronary heart disease.
     "Colorado has a long history of being one of the healthiest states in the
 nation," said Karen DeLeeuw, director of Colorado's State Tobacco Education
 and Prevention Partnership.  "Citizens living in communities that support
 reducing exposure to secondhand smoke are now further protected from the
 devastation of a heart attack."
     The study's researchers included Dr. Nick Alsever, an endocrinologist and
 vice president for medical affairs at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo; Dr.
 Carl E. Bartecchi, clinical professor of medicine at the University of
 Colorado School of Medicine; Krantz; and Nevin-Woods.
 
 SOURCE  The Pueblo City-County Health Department