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Welsh Smoking Ban Helped Lower Heart Attack Rates

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The smoking ban in Wales that took effect in April 2007 has helped decrease the number of people having heart attacks, according to a recent report by the nation's chief medical officer, the BBC reported Dec. 9.

The annual report issued by Tony Jewell, M.D., found that the number of hospital admissions for heart attacks during the 2007/2008 timeframe had decreased by 3.7 percent, compared to the year prior to the ban going into effect. 

The smoking ban was not the only reason for the decline in heart attacks, said Jewell. However, some studies have attributed at least part of the reduction to the ban.

The report also found that smoking still costs the National Health Service (NHS) more than $185 per person.  Jewell believes the NHS would be more effective if it focused funding on preventing chronic diseases.

“We need to educate and empower people to make healthy lifestyle choices,” said Jewell. 

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