Ban smoking and watch the rate of heart attacks drop

Consider the town of Pueblo, Colorado.

Since banning smoking in public places three years ago, hospital admissions for myocardial infarctions had declined 41% from pre-ban levels.

MedPage Today points to the numbers from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and also finds that neighboring counties, which did not implement the smoking ban, did not see the benefit of reduced heart attack admissions.

The data leads the editors of the journal to conclude that “considering smoke-free policies [is] an important component of interventions to prevent heart disease morbidity and mortality.”

As The Happy Hospitalist states, perhaps we should consider a federal ban on smoking in public places. “It is an issue of public health,” he says, and adds that “since I have a right not to be harmed by a smokers actions, my right of way in a public setting trumps the smoker.”