News on Health & Science

Smoking Ban Cuts Cardiac Arrests

VIENNA: Ireland’s rate of heart attacks fell by around a tenth in the year following the introduction of the world’s first nationwide ban on workplace smoking, boosting the case for more similar bans, doctors said on Tuesday.

Edmond Cronin and colleagues at Cork University Hospital said an analysis of people admitted with heart attacks to public hospitals in southwest Ireland showed an 11% fall in the year after the ban came into effect in March 2004. “This should further encourage health authorities to look at more smoking bans around the world,” he said in an interview at the annual European Society of Cardiology congress, where the data was presented.

There was no significant change in heart attacks in the second year after the ban, indicating a possible step change in medical outcomes. Smoking, which leads to heart disease as well as lung cancer and other serious respiratory conditions, is the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide.

It increases the risk of heart problems like angina, heart failure and heart attacks by contributing to the build-up of cholesterol plaques of the artery walls, leading to narrowing or blockage. More recent research also suggests that inhaling tobacco smoke, either directly or passively, can trigger a heart attack.

Source: The Times Of India

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