Anti-smoking laws passed during the past two decades by more than 70 percent of the country are effective in saving lives, according to a new report by the Institute of Medicine.
The study was commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extinguish the ongoing controversy over smoking bans. A panel of researchers at the Institute of Medicine examined 11 studies of heart attacks in places where smoking bans have been implemented. The panel found:
All areas showed a decrease in the rate of heart attacks after a smoking ban was implemented. Decreases ranged from six percent to 47 percent, depending on the study and the form of analysis. Such consistent data confirms that smoking bans do, in fact, decrease the rate of heart attacks.
Similarly, a study completed in 2004 by a fellow at Stanford's Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research and colleagues concluded that stubbing out smoking in workplaces across America would prevent hundreds of stroke and heart attack deaths and save tens of millions of dollars in health-care costs annually.