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Public Smoking Bans Cut Secondhand Smoke Exposure, Heart Attacks, Research Review Finds

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Multiple studies have found that fewer workers are exposed to tobacco smoke and that hospital admissions for heart attacks have fallen in communities that have banned indoor smoking, according to a literature review by researcher Cicily Kelleher, M.D., of University College Dublin and colleagues.

MedPage Today reported April 14 that Kelleher and colleagues said that “the balance of evidence suggests that legislative smoking bans have achieved their primary objective of reducing exposure to secondhand smoke.” The conclusions were based on a review of 50 previously published studies.

Randomized controlled studies were lacking, Kelleher and colleagues noted, and there were some other weaknesses in the existing research base. “Nonetheless, the balance of evidence from both the repeated cross-sectional and cohort studies strongly suggests that the primary objective of reducing tobacco smoke exposure was achieved, particularly amongst hospitality workers,” the report concluded. “This was validated in many studies by cotinine measures and corroborated in some cases also by improvements in air quality.”

The review appears online in the Cochrane Library.

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