Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Snuff it Out, Then

Interesting news on Science-Based Medicine about smoking bans and public health.

It's obviously hard to draw precise conclusions about things like this given the vast number of potential confounding factors, but it seems a few recent studies are suggesting that bans on smoking in public places may in fact have measurable public health effects.

There are studies from Scotland suggesting a reduction in premature birth and low birth weight, and in hospital admissions for asthma, after a ban, and one from the US linking a ban to a decrease in incidents of acute myocardial infarction.

Meanwhile, predictions of economic devastation have not really been borne out. Apparently people still like to go out to eat and drink even if they can't smoke in the building.

I might argue that some of them, if they don't smoke themselves, like to go out even more if they know they won't come home smelling like cigarettes. But that's anecdotal.

Anyway, these bans are controversial, and no doubt this won't be the last word, but it's certainly interesting to hear about the results.

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