One year out from a statewide public-smoking ban, hospital admissions for asthma, stroke, heart attacks, and angina fell sharply in Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star reported May 20.
University of Arizona researchers analyzed data from all 87 of the state's hospitals and found that asthma admissions fell 22 percent, heart attacks declined by 13 percent, angina fell by 33 percent, and acute stroke fell by 14 percent in the first 13 months that the law was in effect. The results suggest a direct correlation between cardiovascular disease and secondhand smoke, researchers said.
All told, the drop in hospital admissions amounts to savings of almost $17 million for the state. The results in Arizona mirror those of other states with similar bans.
“If one considers the fact that only about 40 percent of the U.S. population is presently covered by a comprehensive smoke-free law,” the report reads, “bans should be considered by any governmental agency, employer or other organization seeking to advocate or implement policies that improve health and reduce health-care costs.”