Hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions have dropped by more than one-third, according to research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). This is one of few studies that have examined hospital admissions for respiratory conditions following the implementation of smoke-free legislation.
The 10-year population-based study was conducted to determine the effect of antismoking legislation on admission to hospitals in Toronto for cardiovascular conditions—specifically heart attack, angina, and stroke—and respiratory conditions—asthma, emphysema, and pneumonia or bronchitis. Researchers found that the largest decline in hospital admissions for these conditions occurred after the 2001 ban on smoking in restaurants. This decline included a 17% decrease in the crude rate of admission for heart attacks, a 33% decrease in rates of admission for respiratory conditions, and a 39% decrease because of cardiovascular conditions.
Previous studies have looked at the impact of smoking restrictions on cardiovascular outcomes only, but the authors argue that research on the impact of smoke-free legislation on both cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes “could have an immense impact on public health.”