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Health Benefits from Smoking Bans Greater for Older Nonsmokers

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Past research has shown a reduction in heart attacks after communities ban indoor smoking, and a new study finds that limiting exposure to indoor tobacco smoke may be especially beneficial for men and women ages 55-74.

Science Daily reported March 21 that researchers studied older adults in New Zealand after a ban on workplace smoking was imposed and found that overall hospital admissions for heart attacks fell 8 percent among those ages 55-74. Among those who had never smoked, the admissions rate fell 13 percent.

The study also found that heart-attack admissions fell 5 percent among the entire population age 30 and older.

Researchers added that the health effects seemed to be greater in more affluent communities, possibly because residents are more likely to visit cafes and restaurants or because they were more likely to use the ban as motivation to quit smoking.

The findings were published in the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

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