A new study funded by the American Heart Association found smoke-free laws are associated with fewer hospitalizations and deaths from either heart or respiratory diseases.
The researchers examined 45 different studies that looked into 33 smoke-free laws at various locations from everywhere between different states across the U.S. to towns in Uruguay, New Zealand and Germany.
The results showed smoke-free laws were linked to a 15 percent reduction in heart attack hospitalizations and 16 percent decrease in hospitalizations due to a stroke. Also, there was an association between smoke-free laws and a 24 percent reduction in respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. What's more, the more comprehensive laws that included workplaces, restaurants, etc., saw the biggest health benefits over the cities and towns that do have the legislation in place.
"The public, health professionals and policy makers need to understand that including exemptions and loopholes in legislation - such as exempting casinos - condemns more people to end up in emergency rooms," said Dr. Stanton Glantz, senior study author. "These unnecessary hospitalizations are the real cost of failing to enact comprehensive smoke-free legislation."
This study backs up the theory that this legislation needs to be put into place to limit the number of individuals who are negatively affected from smoking. This includes patrons of restaurants and bars, as secondhand smoke can be harmful to those who do not smoke as well. This is not the first study in which it was proved that smoke-free laws have a positive association with people's overall health.
"Stronger legislation means immediate reductions in secondhand smoke-related health problems as a byproduct of reductions in secondhand smoke exposure and increases in smoking cessation that accompany these laws," Glantz said. "Passage of these laws formalize and accelerate social change and the associated immediate health benefits."
Lowering the risk of someone suffering from heart disease is imperative. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women. About 600,000 people die of the disease each year, which translates to one out of every four deaths. Those who do have the disease often times need home health care to help them day in and day out.
Residential Home Health is a leading provider of in-home nursing and therapy care throughout Michigan and Illinois. In addition to home health care, Residential’s continuum of care includes Residential Hospice and Healthy Living Medical Supply. If you are interested in learning more about the home care services Residential provides, please call 866-902-4000 or visit www.residentialhomehealth.com.